Located in DeLand, Florida, just north of Orlando, the Athens Theatre is an intimate, historic, local venue for the performing arts that has served the area for 98 years. The theatre features mainstage productions, concerts, dance performances, festivals, occasional movies, and more. The Athens Theatre also offers educational opportunities through their youth theatre academy, including youth workshops, after school classes, and summer camps. They are highly focused on educating future generations with the proper techniques to shine in the realm of theatre. Below is a tv spot for one of their 2019 plays, Jekyll & Hyde. Athens Theatre also offers educational opportunities, including lectures and classes. They have a youth theater academy, which includes monthly workshops and summer camps. They are highly focused on educating future generations with the proper techniques to shine in the realm of theatre. Below is a tv spot for one of their 2019 plays, Jekyll & Hyde.
The building of the theatre itself was designed by Orlando architect Murray S. King in 1921 and officially opened in 1922. The building is considered one of the few remaining original American theatres in Central Florida. Athens Theatre draws upon the Italian Renaissance for its overall design structure.
The theatre was a gem of architectural engineering, being praised by local news as a handsome and stunning sight to behold. The name of Athens Theatre was based upon the vision of DeLand's founder, Henry DeLand. Deland wanted to make a city equivalent to Athens, Greece, in Florida. The Athens Theatre originally began as a silent movie theater and vaudeville house, occasionally showing touring live performances. However, the theater deteriorated over time, eventually closing during the 1990s. Below is a video as to the history of the space.
The Athens Theatre was too important to remain shut behind closed doors. There was too much attachment to the theatre to let it fade away; it had faithfully served DeLand for more than seventy years. There was a community effort that began in 1993 to return the theatre back to its original state. These efforts succeeded, and the Athens Theatre has been back in session ever since. Performing up to 17 shows a season, the Athens Theatre has a production for every interest. If you are looking for a hometown vibe in a piece of architectural art, then you should consider visiting the Athens Theatre.
Cover Photo Credit: "On Our Selection" by BotheredByBees is licensed under CC BY 2.0.