Renovation Begun at Garden Theatre
posted by irvl on October 6, 2005 at 4:22 am
WINTER GARDEN, FL — Crews began restoration work October 5 on the 1935 Garden Theatre. The movie house, closed since 1963, will become a performing arts facility and part-time movie house for the community.
The interior of this house was set in a Spanish garden, with “Romeo and Juliet” balconies, greenery, lots of Spanish tile and a twinkling star ceiling. It was used as a warehouse for over 60 years. Plans are to match the original style as closely as possible, while extending the stage forward to give sufficient space for live performances. It will seat about 300, and the theatre is scheduled to open in late 2006.
I erred when I reported the Garden had been a warehouse for over 60 years. It was over 40 years. This atmospheric theatre was gutted after closing in 1963, so practically the whole theatre will have to be recreated. Only the balcony, projection booth and manager’s office remain from the old days. The Winter Garden Heritage Foundation has raised extensive funds to accomplish the project. An additional building will be constructed to the rear of the stage to house dressing rooms, rehearsal rooms, restrooms, etc. for the performers. Winter Garden’s downtown is experiencing a renaissance, and the Garden Theatre will become the crown jewel in this redevelopment.
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