WFTV takes tour of arts center construction site



ORLANDO, Fla. - Channel 9 got to see the progress of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts from the construction site.

There is a lot of work is left to be done on the arts center.

Officials said construction is on schedule and that the framework is taking shape and excitement is building.

"It's really going to breathe new life into downtown Orlando," said Michele Plant with the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center.

The $500 million project will have three side-by-side soundproof theaters.

One theater will hold about 300 people but the biggest performances will be in the Walt Disney Theater. It will hold up to 2,700 people and have box seating.

The organization hopes it will attract big name acts that couldn't come to town before because they couldn't find a venue that would work.

"(It's) really a blend of cultures, a blend of opportunities that at one time the community has not been exposed to," said Plant.

The center needs $40 million more before it can break ground on its third theater.

There are also opportunities for outdoor events.

The plaza will start at Orange Avenue and will hold up to 3,000 people for outdoor events. Officials said some of those events will be free and they hope that will push people inside to check out the various performances.

"We could have programming on any given night. We could have Broadway, and in another theater we could have hip-hop, and in the other, ballet or the philharmonic," said Plant.

Arts center staff is being tight-lipped about who will be the first headliner on stage but they hope the grandeur of the venue will create enough buzz on its own.

The $500 million center is scheduled to open in the fall of 2014.