Rona Gindin 2017-10-27 00:59:00
On With THE SHOW TAKE IN A HOLIDAY PLAY OR MOVIE AT A LOCAL THEATER WITH A BIG PERSONALITY. When you need a change of scene during the holidays, why not escape to a remarkable theater? Treat yourself to a drama, a musical, or even a cutting-edge film at a cinema or performing arts venue. Central Florida offers a variety of distinctive cultural destinations, all rich in character and charm. Here in Orlando, the star is the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. When the stunning Dr. Phillips Center opened its doors in downtown Orlando in 2014, it was a game-changer. Traveling Broadway plays, world-renowned speakers, and locally produced opera are among the dozens upon dozens of productions presented in the state-of- the-art complex every year. Some are offered in the majestic Walt Disney Theater with its 2,700 seats and exceptional sightlines; others are in the thoroughly modern, if more petite, Alexis & Jim Pugh space; still others are in the Seneff Arts Plaza outside the front doors. By 2020, the 1,700-seat Steinmetz Hall will offer “unplugged” performances for the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Ballet, and Opera. The cabaret-style Green Room for recordings and events will be part of the expansion. Drphillipscenter.org LET’S TAKE A SEAT Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center, Sanford A neon-lined, Art Deco-style sign beckons arts lovers to historic downtown Sanford’s Ritz Theatre. The 1923-built, 585-seat property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A bright space with light woods and crystal lobby chandeliers, it’s a mainstay for plays and movies and home to the Sanford Jazz Ensemble and the Love Your Shorts Film Festival. Wdpac.com Garden Theatre, Winter Garden With stucco walls, Romeo-and-Juliet balconies and terra-cotta faux roof designs, the historic Spanish courtyard- style interior of this 299-seat theater — with modern sound and lighting equipment — is as singular as it gets. Making its debut in 1935 as the area’s first talkie-friendly cinema, the theater reopened in 2008 after a long lull and now hosts 450 productions a year including plays, concerts, and movie screenings. Gardentheatre.org Enzian Theater, Maitland Enjoy dinner and cocktails with your movie if you like at Enzian, a 210-seat “cinema-café” specializing in independent and foreign films. The not-for-profit entertainment spot opened as a repertory house surrounded by lush foliage in 1985; today, its art-house lineup includes self-distributed films. The Enzian is also home base for the Florida Film Festival. Enzian.org Polk Theatre, Lakeland This one-time movie palace has a whopping 1,400 seats. Opened in 1928 with a striking interior that looks like a Mediterranean village with balconies, niches, and ornate accents, along with a dark blue ceiling with twinkling lights and cheerful clouds, the facility filled regularly for movies and vaudeville. After decades of decline, the Polk was reinvigorated and now features avant-garde plays, rock concerts, and classic cartoons. Polktheatre.org
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