Historic Theaters of Orlando
This loop through central and northern Orlando includes seven of the city's historic theaters.
The Colony Theater is located on South Park Avenue in Winter Park, Florida. Opened in the 1940s, the theater is from a time where the city was divided into two distinct sections based upon economic standing and race. The art-deco building is now home to a Pottery Barn retail outlet, but the original neon marquee remains. It is one of many buildings of historical interest in the Downtown Winter Park Historic District.
The Annie Russell Theatre is a historic theater located on the Rollins College campus in Winter Park, Florida. Built in 1932 after just nine months of construction, it was designed by architect Richard Reihnel in the Italian Romanesque Revival style. The theater is named after its principal funder, Annie Russell, who at the time was one of the most famous American stage actors. Russell also established the dramatic arts program at Rollins College some time after her retirement in 1918. Given its architecture and historical ties to Russell, the theater was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998.
The Plaza Theatre sign is Orlando's only unchanged theater sign from the 1960s and represents the only known sign of its type in the city. It was built in San Diego and shipped to Orlando. It opened in 1963 with the movie “McLintock.” The Plaza theatre underwent many renovations, including the introduction of twin screens, rocking chair seats, angle seating, and wider screens. In the 1990s the theater was converted to a live venue performance hall.
The Beacham Theatre, built in 1921, played an important role in the music and entertainment history of Orlando. From vaudeville to electronic dance music, this theatre has served as a gathering spot for movie-goers, music lovers, and performers to gather for nearly a century. Owing to its long history, the building was granted local landmark status in 1987.
The Bob Carr Theater first opened in 1926 as The Orlando Municipal Auditorium. During this time, Florida was going through a land boom, there was also a massive increase in the population of Central Florida. The Bob Carr Theater was the first major site for Orlando to host concerts, conventions, plays and town meetings indoors. The property, on which The Bob Carr Theater presently sits, was originally used for the Orange County Fair (currently known as the Central Florida Fair). The city of Orlando bought the land and later built the Bob Carr Theater on the property.
Opened in 1989, the Orlando Shakespeare Theater is one of the country's premier Shakespeare performance venues. It is partnered with the University of Central Florida—located in Orlando—and presents other productions as well including contemporary works and and children's plays. Education and outreach are other areas of focus for the theater. To this end, it offers school workshops and residencies, field trips (to the theater), acting classes, summer camps, and resources such as study guides and activities. The theater is in Loch Haven Park which features many other great sites to visit such as the Orlando Museum of Art and the Orlando Science Center.
The Enzian Theater is a local theater house that has a long history of playing independent films and providing the back drop for the Florida Film Festive. Through the years the theater has been run by a local by the name of Tina Tiedtke who started the movie house in 1985. This unique movie theater is a one and only full time not for profit theater in Central Florida. With it's popularity they have limited seating and every showing is sold out regardless of new or old releases. As a nationally recognized theater for it's popularity and it's film festivals you can come for a night of movie entertainment just as the Oscar award producers and celebrities have come. The Enzian Theater is a must see.