Arcade Theater

2267 First Street,
Fort Myers, FL 33901

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Arcade Theater

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Built in 1908, it served originally as a vaudville house and was the very auditorium that Fort Myers resident Thomas Edison sat in to view his first films, with his friends Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone.

The Arcade Theatre was eventually converted into a full movie house, with a wall dividing the stage to form two screening rooms. By 1989, the theatre had fallen into severe disrepair. In 1991, a benefit starring famed ballet and film star, Mikhail Baryishnikov, raised enough money to completely restore the theater. It is now host to the Florida Repertory Theatre.

Contributed by TC

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

atlmike
atlmike on May 15, 2008 at 9:41 pm

In late 1973 when I moved to Fort Myers (had my first job out of college there) the Arcade was still a first run theatre. I recall seeing some of the disaster movies of the era there…Towering Inferno among them, I believe. I also talked my girlfriend (now my wife) into going to a midnight showing of Night of the Living Dead there. That was an experience! It was a cool old theatre and I’m happy to see that it survives.

AndyCallahanMajorMajor
AndyCallahanMajorMajor on November 26, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Here are my pictures from July 2012. None of the previously posted pictures show the ornate “rear” entrance facing Bay Street. I’ve included a picture of that entrance, which is visible if you click my link.

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