Winter Garden’s Historic Garden Theatre
Just west of Orlando and its theme parks is the charming city of Winter Garden, which calls itself “A Community Among Friends.” Winter Garden’s many parks, museums and special events make it a great place to call home.
At the top of the list of local attractions sits the historic Garden Theater. Originally built in 1935 as a single-screen cinema, the Garden Theatre was the first in Central Florida built for “talkies,” and was a gathering place for locals to watch the latest newsreels and films of the day.
The theater is constructed in the Mediterranean Revival style; the interior of the theatre was modeled after a Spanish courtyard with “Romeo & Juliet” balconies, Spanish tile roof, and a dark blue ceiling resplendent with “stars.” Before closing in 1963, the theater went through several renovations.
The next chapter of the storied building’s history might surprise you. Not long after it was closed, the interior was completely gutted and the sloped floor was leveled out so the space could be used as a farm supply store.
Through the tireless efforts of the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation, the restored Garden Theatre reopened in February 2008. The theater quickly became a shining star on Plant Street, serving as a performing arts center for the city and hosting more than 200 events per season. Giving the Garden Theatre new life has also pumped new life into the downtown historic district and brought a nostalgic sense of community back to the citizens of Winter Garden.
The restored architectural charm of the theater now provides a gorgeous backdrop for well-loved family programming that attracts audiences from all over West Orange County. The Garden Theatre, which hosts live plays, concerts, movies and more, is committed to enriching, engaging and entertaining the community through creative experiences.
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