Clearwater Travel Guide

Art and culture

In 2012, the city was listed among the 10 best places to retire in the U.S. by CBS Money Watch.

Clearwater Public Art and Design Program

The Clearwater Public Art and Design Program, adopted by City Council in 2005, is funded through a 1% allocation on all city capital improvement projects valued at more than $500,000 and includes a similar, citywide requirement on all private development projects valued in excess of $5,000,000. Eligible private developers have two options to satisfy the Public Art Ordinance: dedicate 1% of the project's aggregate job value toward the installation of on-site public art; or contribute 0.75% of the project's aggregate job value to the city's Public Art Discretionary Fund, to be used to supplement and initiate public art projects throughout the city. The Public Art and Design Program is overseen by a seven-member board, appointed by City Council and composed of local arts supporters and administrators, design professionals and private citizens, Christopher Hubbard is the Public Art Specialist for the city. The program seeks to "enhance Clearwater for those who visit and live within the city and to contribute to a legacy for generations to come" through the commission of unique, public artworks that enhance the city's diversity, character and heritage.

Capitol/Royalty Theatre

The Capitol Theatre opened March 21, 1921. It was built by Senator-elect John Stansel Taylor. The theater's architect was Lester Avery and the contractor was John D. Phillipoff. Avery is known for his architecture in Miami. Philipoff also built the Coachman Building (1916), the Donald Roebling Estate in Belleair (added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979), the old Pinellas County Courthouse (added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1992), other historical homes which have been saved, and did work at the Belleview Hotel.

Groundbreaking was December 6, 1920. The "New Capitol Theatre" was damaged in a storm on October 26, 1921 (so it had been completed). A Robert Morton Wicks Opus 415 organ was installed in 1922.

Donald Roebling was a frequent patron, having his own double seat installed at the theatre.

The theatre was managed by various movie companies (EJ Sparks, Paramount, ABC-Southeastern Theatres, and Plitt Southern) and played the most recent movies of the day. The theatre also offered vaudeville on Friday nights in the 1930s. Headliners included Sally Rand, Fred Stone and his daughter, and Lum and Abner (of radio). The theatre was renovated in 1962. The Robert Morton Wicks Opus 415 was most likely removed during this renovation. When Plitt Southern did not renew their contract in 1979, Bill Neville and Jerry Strain tried to save the theatre with film classics and reduced prices. However, the theatre closed its doors on October 28, 1980.

Royalty Theater Company signed leases with the Taylor family in February 1981 when it then became known as the Royalty Theater (Clearwater, Florida). The building was renovated with Ron Winter of Winter Associates as the contractor and Scott Musheff as the architect.

During the renovations, Bill Neville's murdered body was found in the balcony.

The theatre remained in the Taylor family estate until it was sold in 1996. In July 2008 the building went into foreclosure.

In January 2009, the City of Clearwater and Ruth Eckerd Hall joined forces to purchase the theater (renamed Capitol Theater) as well as the neighboring Pat Lokey building. They plan to renovate and revitalize the historic Capitol Theater.

source: Wikipedia

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