Updated:ORLANDO, Fla. —
On Wednesday, the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra announced it is in the process of purchasing The Plaza Live, located at 425 N. Bumby Avenue, near downtown Orlando. The Philharmonic is planning extensive renovations to the historic building to create office space, a rehearsal hall and a music library, and update the existing 1000-seat music hall to accommodate chamber music concerts, while maintaining a schedule of rock, jazz, comedy and contemporary music events. The Plaza Live will continue to operate as one of Florida’s premier concert venues during and after the renovations.
“The Orlando Philharmonic is pleased and proud to continue the process of purchasing The Plaza Live,” said Executive Director David Schillhammer. “We praise and thank our partners at Orlando Shakespeare Theater, who have allowed us to rent part of their space over the past 15 years. As we move into our third decade, The Plaza provides a unique opportunity for us to have our own permanent residence, a high-quality rehearsal space, and the flexibility to schedule and perform a variety of events throughout the year.”
Beginning in fall 2014—after renovations have been completed—The Plaza Live will be home to the orchestra’s four-concert “Focus” chamber orchestra series and its five-concert “Sounds of Summer” chamber music series. Schillhammer said the venue will continue to present a wide range of live music events during and after renovations.
“The Plaza has become known and respected as a great live music venue in Florida,” he said. “As we work to create a permanent home for the orchestra, we will ensure it continues to serve a broad live music community. We expect that the venue will continue to present more than 100 diverse concerts per year."
Plaza Live General Manager Kirk Colvin said, "The Philharmonic is a natural fit to acquire the Plaza Live and we are excited to begin working with people who are as passionate about music as our staff and patrons are. The Plaza Live mission has always been about the music, and we look forward to continuing that tradition under the Philharmonic."
The orchestra will continue performing its large-scale classical, pops and opera events at Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre in downtown Orlando, and eventually at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, following the completion of its 1,700-seat, multi-form acoustic hall. The Plaza Live acquisition and renovation will provide the Philharmonic with office space, a music library, storage, rehearsal space and a small-scale acoustic performance venue not provided by either of those centers.
The Philharmonic plans to release additional information about the purchase later this summer. Current information is available at www.orlandophil.org/Plaza
Entering its 21st season in 2013-2014, the Orlando Philharmonic is Central Florida’s resident professional orchestra, comprised of talented musicians recruited from around the world. The Philharmonic inspires audiences with over 125 musical experiences annually, ranging from classical and chamber music concerts to pops performances, staged opera productions, outdoor concerts and education programs for all ages. Committed to building a sustainable future for classical music, the Philharmonic currently has a budget of $3.6 million, holds an endowment of $4 million, and has maintained a balanced budget every year of its existence. Learn more at www.orlandophil.org
The Plaza Live was originally built as Orlando’s first multi-screen movie theatre in 1963. After years of passing between owners, it was given new life in the late 2000s when it was transformed into a concert venue. The Plaza Live currently hosts more than 135 rock, jazz, comedy, and contemporary music events annually, selling over 65,000 tickets per year. In 2010, it was ranked by Pollstar as one of the Top 100 Worldwide Club Venues. Learn more about The Plaza Live at www.plazaliveorlando.com.