The Fascinating History of Theatres in Palm Beach County, FL

Palm Beach County, located in the southeastern part of Florida, is known for its beautiful beaches, luxurious resorts, and vibrant nightlife. However, what many people may not know is that it also has a rich history when it comes to theatres. In fact, Palm Beach County is home to some of the oldest and most iconic theatres in the state.

The Rise of Theatres in Palm Beach County

The first theatre in Palm Beach County was built in 1907 and was called the Alhambra Theatre. It was located in West Palm Beach and was a popular destination for vaudeville shows and silent films.

Unfortunately, it was destroyed by a fire in 1921 and was never rebuilt. After the Alhambra Theatre, more theatres started popping up in Palm Beach County. In the 1920s, the Paramount Theatre opened its doors in Palm Beach. It was a grand movie palace that could seat over 1,000 people and featured lavish decorations and state-of-the-art technology. The Paramount Theatre became a popular spot for moviegoers and remained open until the 1970s. Another iconic theatre from this era was the Florida Theatre, which opened in 1926 in West Palm Beach.

It was known for its stunning architecture and hosted many famous performers such as Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra. Unfortunately, the Florida Theatre closed its doors in the 1960s and was demolished in 1989.

The Golden Age of Theatres

In the 1940s and 1950s, Palm Beach County experienced a boom in population and tourism. This led to the construction of more theatres, including the Lake Theatre in Lake Worth and the Delray Theatre in Delray Beach. These theatres were popular destinations for moviegoers and also hosted live performances. One of the most iconic theatres from this era is the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, which opened in 1992 in West Palm Beach.

It is a state-of-the-art facility that hosts a variety of performances, including Broadway shows, concerts, and ballets. The Kravis Center has become a cultural hub in Palm Beach County and continues to attract visitors from all over the world.

The Oldest Theatre in Palm Beach County

Out of all the theatres in Palm Beach County, there is one that stands out as the oldest and most historic – the Lake Worth Playhouse. It was built in 1924 and was originally called the Oakley Theatre. It was a popular spot for vaudeville shows and silent films, but it also faced financial struggles and was forced to close its doors multiple times. In 1953, a group of local residents came together to save the theatre from demolition.

They formed the Lake Worth Playhouse Corporation and raised enough money to purchase the building. Since then, the Lake Worth Playhouse has been a non-profit organization run by volunteers who are passionate about preserving its history and providing quality entertainment for the community. Today, the Lake Worth Playhouse is still going strong and offers a variety of performances, including plays, musicals, and film screenings. It also hosts educational programs for children and adults, making it a beloved institution in Palm Beach County.

Other Notable Theatres in Palm Beach County

Aside from the Lake Worth Playhouse, there are several other notable theatres in Palm Beach County that have stood the test of time. These include the Maltz Jupiter Theatre, which opened in 2001 and has become a popular destination for Broadway-quality productions, and the Duncan Theatre, which is located on the campus of Palm Beach State College and hosts a variety of performances throughout the year. There are also smaller, more intimate theatres in Palm Beach County, such as the Palm Beach Dramaworks and the Delray Beach Playhouse, which offer a more intimate setting for theatre enthusiasts.

In Conclusion

Theatres in Palm Beach County have a long and fascinating history that reflects the growth and development of the county itself.

From grand movie palaces to intimate playhouses, these theatres have played an important role in shaping the cultural landscape of Palm Beach County. And while some have come and gone, others have stood the test of time and continue to provide quality entertainment for residents and visitors alike.

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