Three Decades in the Making, 1st Phase of $515M Dr. Phillips Center Complete

Three Decades in the Making, 1st Phase of $515M Dr. Phillips Center Complete

The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando, Florida has literally been some three decades in the making—from its conceptual beginning in 1985 to the doors finally opening this month—and it's actually only the first phase of a two-part $515M project. According to Venues Today, the performing arts center includes the "2,731-seat Walt Disney Theater, the 304-capacity Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater, the 400-capacity DeVos Family Room that overlooks downtown Orlando, and the Seneff Arts Plaza, an outdoor space that can accommodate nearly 10,000."

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With so many venues included in the Performing Arts center, it's a lot to take in. Perhaps the biggest of the group is the Walt Disney Theater (named for a $12.5M donation from the Walt Disney Corporation), which is the second biggest Broadway-style theater in the country—the first is Hollywood's Dolby Theater. The theater officially opens with a one-night showing of Broadway and Beyond on November 15, and their first touring show will be Phantom of the Opera (December 3-14), which will be followed by the critically acclaimed The Book of Mormon (December 26 to January 4). Other calendar highlights include A Jazz Roots series that will play the Walt Disney Theater from November 20 to April 17, as well as a performance of Clare and the Chocolate Nutcracker on November 29.

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The second phase of the huge project is scheduled to break ground by the end of 2015, with a completion planned for 2018. It will feature a 1,700-seat acoustic theater that will be the home of the Orlando Philharmonic and the Orlando Ballet. Planned to be pretty technologically advanced, it will apparently be able to go from being a symphony hall to an opera house with only the press of a button. Meaning that the seating will move from being raked to a flat arrangement.  

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