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Sarasota FL Homes For Sale
Sarasota FL Homes For Sale. Sarasota has been a consistent cultural mecca for nearly a century. In 1925, A. B. Edwards built a theater that could be adapted for either vaudeville performances or movie screenings. Renowned stripper Sally Rand did her bubble bath and fan dance here. Tommy Dorsey, Will Rodgers and Elvis Presley each performed at the Edward Theatre. It remains at the intersection of Pineapple Avenue and Second Street, having been restored and used for performances by the Sarasota Opera and others. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
In the early 1950s, the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art purchased a historic Italian theater, the “Asolo” (now called the Historic Asolo Theater). This theatre was originally built for Queen Caterina of Cyprus’ palace in Asolo, Italy in 1798 but was dismantled in 1931. A. Everett “Chick” Austin, the museum’s first director, arranged the purchase and reassembly of the theater for performances of plays and opera.
In 1989, Stuart Barger, a local architect, designed and oversaw the construction of another Asolo Theater, housed in the Florida State University Center for the Performing Arts. It is a multi-theater complex, located farther east on the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art property, being placed between Bay Shore Road and Tamiami Trail, and facing south toward Ringling Plaza. It was built around a rococo, historic Scottish theater previously called the Dunfermline Opera House, which had been shipped to Florida. The new complex also provides venues and facilities for students of Florida State University‘s MFA Acting program, the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training. This was the administrative home of the Sarasota French Film Festival for several years.
FST’s Keating Theatre, formerly the Sarasota Woman’s Club, is amongst the oldest surviving buildings in Sarasota. Founded in 1903, the Sarasota Woman’s Club eventually set out to create a meeting place to house social events, activities, and forums. On January 1, 1915 the cornerstone was laid at the corner of Palm Avenue and Park Street (now Cocoanut). It served as the town’s first library and hosted numerous club and public committee gatherings. The Woman’s Club also maintained a census and birth registration, an area PTA, and a Red Cross Auxiliary.
The Sarasota Woman’s Club relocated in 1976 and the building became slated for demolition. Marian McKenna, a patron and supporter of the arts, did not want to see the building and her memories destroyed. She purchased the building and later sold it to Florida Studio Theatre.
In 1985, the Sarasota Woman’s Club building was added to the National Register of Historic Places. After completing more renovations to the historic building in 2003, the theatre was renamed the Keating Theatre in honor of Ed and Elaine Keating, and in 2004, additional lobby space was built in the theatre – the Bea Friedman Room. FST’s Keating Theatre now seats 173 and remains a cultural center of Sarasota.
In 2003, FST purchased the Gompertz Theatre. The building was originally the Park-Seventh Movie House in the 1920s. Due to the Depression, the movie house shut its doors and became an empty venue. During its predominantly vacant period in the 1940s, the theatre hosted a variety of road shows and performers, including Tom Mix and his Wonder Horse and the All Girls’ Orchestra. During this time it was known as the Garden Theater, and later the Art Theater, before becoming known as the Palm Tree Playhouse in 1951. The Playhouse closed again in the 1960s. In the mid 1970s, Asolo Theatre purchased the space for production purposes and their Stage Two Theatre program. It was subsequently sold to Anita Katzman and reoccupied by Siesta Key Actors Theatre and Theatre Works in the 1980s. The building was acquired by Florida Studio Theatre and renamed the Gompertz Theatre in honor of Mrs. Leila Gompertz, who made the lead gift enabling the purchase.
Other Sarasota cultural attractions include, and many other musical, dance, artistic, and theatrical venues.