Sarasota Opera House
61 North Pineapple Avenue,
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Sarasota Opera House (Official)
Architects: Roy A. Benjamin
Firms: Killis Almond & Associates
Functions: Opera House
Styles: Mediterranean Revival
Previous Names: A. B. Edwards Theater, Florida Theater
The Sarasota Opera House originally opened as the A.B. Edwards Theater in 1926 as a venue for motion pictures and live performances. It was designed by Jacksonville architect Roy Benjamin (who also designed the Florida Theatre and San Marcos Theatre in Jacksonville, among many others).
The movie palace once hosted Elvis on its stage in 1956.
After almost five decades, the Edwards, which later became known as the Florida Theater, closed its doors in 1973.
In 1979, the Sarasota Opera Company purchased the Edwards Theater for $150,000 and renovated and reopened it in 1982.
Now renamed the Sarasota Opera House, the former movie palace was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.
Today, the Sarasota Opera House is still going strong and has attracted an international reputation for the quality of its opera performances and the magnificent theater itself.
The theater seats over 1,000 patrons with almost 300 seats in the balcony and 10 elevated opera boxes.
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