Today the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts officially opened in Downtown Orlando.
The first phase of the 330,000 square foot building includes two of the three main theaters, an outdoor plaza and performance space, an event space above Magnolia Ave, the main lobby, backstage area and classroom space.
The project sits on two blocks bordered by Orange Ave and Rosalind St on the west and east and South St and Anderson St on the south and north.
Construction for the nine-acre project began in June 2011.
The main areas include:
Walt Disney Theater — The Walt Disney Theater is the largest theater space in the new center. This is where the traveling broadway series will perform. The theater seats around 2,700. The actual size of the theater is smaller than the Bob Carr theater but will seat more. The theater itself is more compact (although there are plenty of aisles) and includes two balconies. When you walk into the theater you immediately notice the difference. Every seat truly does have a good view.
Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater — This theater is also referred to as the community theater. This 300 seat theater is a multi-purpose room ideal for theater, dance, music and education. The layout is a U-shape with the stage extending into the audience area so it is surrounded on three sides (known as a thrust stage). The orchestra level seating can also transform into a flat floor for performance, banquets and events. UCF performing arts students will perform in the theater for part of the year.
DeVos Family Room — The DeVos Family room sits above Magnolia Ave and overlooks the plaza. The floating glass room seats 300 and will be perfect for weddings, galas and community events.
Main Lobby — The lobby is what the Dr Phillips Center is calling the, “theater before the theater”, is the main entry way for all of the theaters and has concession areas, bars and ample restrooms. The lobby spans five stories. The “Wave Wall” separates the lobby from the theaters and is what can be seen from outside the building since the building is mostly glass.
Here’s a look inside the new Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts: