The Bob Carr Performing Arts Center History

The Bob Carr Performing Arts Center was completed eighty-nine years ago, and opened the following year, 1927, with a the opera Aida, performed by La Scala Grand Opera Company of Philadelphia.

Originally named the Orlando Municipal Auditorium, the theatre was renamed in 1978 for mayor, who served in his role from 1956 to 1967.

Except for closures due to remodeling and renovation, the theatre has been in operation since it first opened.

Originally named the Municipal Auditorium, the theatre was renamed in 1978 for former mayor.

At first it was renamed the Bob Carr Municipal Auditorium.

Today it is known as the Bob Carr Theater.

It is now operated by the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

During its long history it has seen many changes, both in the structure itself and in the type of entertainment it presented.

For a time, in addition to presenting live entertainment, it served as a movie house.

Over the years the structure has seen many changes.


In the mid-70s it was extensively renovated and changed into a highly rated theatre and concert hall.

During the remodeling the brick façade was surrounded by a glass shell, making the building much more attractive and giving it a much more contemporary feel.

The auditorium became the home of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orlando Opera, and the  Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra.

In addition, it presents a wide variety of Broadway touring shows and various other events.

Will The Center Survive?

Although it was predicted that the theater would close with the opening of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, this has not been the case.

When the Bob Carr Theater was taken under the Center's wing it has flourished.

Recent events have included things like Dancing with the Stars, Ringo Star and His All-Star Band and Dave Chapelle.

The tide may officially change in 2018, when the Bob Carr Theater will likely be repurposed and with proper renovations it may become a world-class video gaming competition complex.

Another option is to incorporate it into a larger, currently proposed Creative Village.

Located in downtown Orlando, The Car Performing Arts Center, which can seat up to 2158 spectators, is owned by the city.

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