Polk Theatre

121 S. Florida Avenue,
Lakeland, FL 33801

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Polk Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Built in 1927 by architect James E. Casale, the Polk Theatre has a mezzanine, a high balcony, a permanent backdrop of a "Venetian piazza," an orchestral pit, high twinkling stars, a cloud-covered ceiling, and an exquisite terrazo floor. The air-conditioning system (the first in the county in the 1920’s) was a pump that used artesian well water to chill the building.

The Polk Theatre opened on December 22, 1928 with Pauline Frederick in “On Trial”.

Today, the 1,400-seat theatre is used for live performances as well as movies.

Contributed by Cathy Cook

Recent comments (view all 38 comments)

spectrum on October 12, 2009 at 6:08 pm

Complete restoration was completed in 1999.

Patsy on October 12, 2009 at 6:17 pm

spectrum: Music to my ears when reading “complete restoration was completed”. Congratulations!!!

Patsy on October 12, 2009 at 6:19 pm

The new marquees etc. are just fantastic compared to how this theatre’s exterior looked in 1988. Complete transformation!

Patsy on October 12, 2009 at 6:21 pm

In fact, the entire building was transformed with the lovely addition of awnings, etc. I wish more downtowns made use of storefront awnings rather than see them turned into a rusty place for bird’s nests.

Patsy on March 3, 2010 at 4:31 pm

Having recently toured this theatre it is a must-see! I learned after speaking with one of the sresident organist that the organ was originally in a Canton Ohio theatre.

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on May 28, 2010 at 11:24 am

Nice write-up with pictures:

View link

AndyCallahanMajorMajor on July 24, 2010 at 7:39 am

Here is the theater in July 2010.

Patsy on July 24, 2010 at 11:07 am

I’ve visited this theatre and it is a must-see when in Lakeland FL.

DavidZornig on April 23, 2014 at 12:11 pm

The Polk Theatre is doing a documentary about the Elvis performance in 1956. They are searching for people who attended the concert.


DavidZornig on April 23, 2014 at 12:25 pm

Just added photo dated April 30th 1927. J.E. Casale, Architect, Tampa G.A. Miller, Builder, Tampa Photo courtesy of The Polk Theatre Facebook page.

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