Sarasota Opera House - Sarasota, FL
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Marine Biologist
N 27° 20.234 W 082° 32.617
17R E 347298 N 3024732
Quick Description: The Sarasota Opera House, originally known as the Edwards Theatre, is located in downtown Sarasota, Florida, USA.
Location: Florida, United States
Date Posted: 11/11/2013 4:30:53 PM
Waymark Code: WMJFEY
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member ddtfamily
Views: 2

Long Description:
An historical marker on the building provides the following information:

"The Edwards Theatre was the dream of Sarasota County's native son and the City's first Mayor, Arthur B. Edwards, who dedicated himself to the proposition that a modern city be built on the shores of Sarasota Bay. He was born October 2, 1874, and died November 14, 1969. He served the community as County Road Supervisor and first Tax Assessor. In the business world he was active in Insurance, Real Estate, Promotion of Winter Tourism, Banking and Abstract of Title Records.

The theatre, of Mediterranean Revival Style Architecture, was designed by Roy A. Benjamin to accommodate the many varieties of entertainment available at the time: silent movies, vaudeville and opera. The best offered by film and stage was featured here, through the last of the "Roaring Twenties" and early thirties, from Grand Opera to "The Ziegfield Follies", and minstrel shows. Among others, the well known star, Will Rogers, appeared upon the stage. Later, in the mid-fifties, a rising young singer, Elvis Presley, appeared.

In December, 1936, the name was changed to "The Florida Theatre", which name was kept until the closing in the early seventies.

The "Edwards" is now the home of the Sarasota Opera Association, Inc."

The following additional information is from the Sarasota History Alive website:

"Former Sarasota Mayor A. B. Edwards built this theater in 1926. The ground level storefronts housed a variety of businesses, while the theater hosted vaudeville, opera and silent movies. Apartments were rented out on the third floor. Will Rogers and Ziegfeld Follies performed here. The local press described the building as a "Temple of Silent Art and Make Believe." In the 1930s the Edwards Theater became the Florida Theater, used primarily for movies - although Elvis Presley performed here in 1956. A major rehabilitation in the 1980s created a home for the Sarasota Opera Association in the National Register-listed building."

Wikipedia Url: [Web Link]

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