Opera House

Edwards Theater/Opera House Sign

As above

Opera House Sarasota

Opera House

Victoria Leopold Grand

Victoria Leopold Grand Atrium

     Sarasota Opera House was also known as the Edwards Theater.   The building is located at 61 North Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota.  The building was the plan of the first Mayor of Sarasota A.B. Edwards.  The structure was designed by architect Roy A. Benjamin.  Style was Mediterranean Revival.  Construction contractor was G.A. Miller.

     The Edwards Theater opened April 10, 1926.  There was a three story entrance.  There were 8 shops on the ground floor. There were 12 offices on the second floor.  There were 12 furnished apartments on the third floor.  The theater auditorium featured a pipe organ.

     The theater is currently the home of the Sarasota Opera Company which currently owns the building.  The auditorium current!y seats 1,119.

     In the 1920’s, the theater became a popular venue for live entertainment and movies.  Over the years, the management and the name of the theater changed.  In December, 1936 it was named the Florida Theater.  Over the years, modernization removed most of the art deco features.  The theater closed in 1973.

     In 1979, Asolo  Opera Guild bought theater for $150,000.  Renovations began in 1982.  The theater was renamed the Sarasota Opera House. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places March, 1984.

     Between 2007-2008, further renovations were made. These cost twenty million dollars.The auditorium was gutted. A new seating plan was devised. There was expansion of the public areas and Opera Club on the second floor.  There was opening of a three story atrium to expose a skyline system

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