Parker Playhouse is set to undergo a $25 million transformation to take the iconic entertainment venue into the 21st century.
When Parker Playhouse opened in Fort Lauderdale in 1967, it was a catalyst in turning a sleepy beach town into a vibrant cultural community. Since that time, some of the biggest names in entertainment have graced the Parker Playhouse stage. That stage also serves as a classroom for thousands of students annually who are enriched by educational performances.
“This is truly an exciting time. Act II at the Parker will allow us to continue to provide outstanding artistic, educational and cultural programming for generations to come. The theater, known for its storied past, will reach new heights in the future,” said Kelley Shanley, president and CEO of the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, which has managed the Parker since 2005.
The reimagined Parker Playhouse will retain its classic elegance with many original architectural features remaining intact. The original façade of the building will come alive in the stunning new lobby. Parker Playhouse also will feature private donor and premium lounges, a signature bar area and new hospitality experiences in addition to upgraded systems, state-of the-art equipment and advanced acoustics. The popular continental seating configuration of the theater will be maintained.
The Campaign for the Parker will be chaired by former U.S. Senator George S. LeMieux. “It is my honor to chair this committee. As a native of Broward County, I appreciate the impact the Parker has had on our community,” said LeMieux. “But its impact goes beyond entertainment. It is one of the treasures of South Florida. With this renovation, the Parker will be transformed from first class to world class.”
Other campaign committee members include Bonnie Barnett, Ann Burris, Carol Harrison Kalagher, James LaBate, Robert B. Lochrie III, Dev Motwani, George Taylor, Esq., Douglas Von Allmen and Richard B. Welch.
More than 100 people have already made commitments. Some of the campaign’s earliest supporters were S. Donald Sussman, Linda Haller, the Peck Foundation, Gary Wendt, the Mary Jane Harlow Charitable Trust, Andrew and Tanya Heller, Hudson Family Foundation, Nancy Bryant and Jerry Taylor, Salah Foundation, Kapila Family Foundation, Lorraine Thomas, M. Austin and Christine Forman, Neil Burmeister and Robert Romano, and Dr. and Mrs. Nile Lestrange. They, along with more than 90 other donors who made gifts ranging from $10,000 to $100,000, gave the campaign its early success.
“We want to thank our donors and sponsors who are supporting this incredible project,” said Richard B. Welch, chair of the board of the Broward Performing Arts Foundation. “To date, we have raised more than $20 million towards our $25 million goal. There are many opportunities for the public to participate in the Parker’s restoration and help us preserve its rich legacy for generations to come.”
The Broward Center anticipates breaking ground on the project in summer 2019, and construction is anticipated to be completed in time for the 2020-2021 season. For more information on these campaigns, visit ParkerPlayhouse.com/Support.
For more than 25 years, the Broward Performing Arts Foundation has been instrumental in providing support for the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. The Foundation was established in 1985 to deliver the required private funding to build the Center and create an endowment to sustain its operations. Over the years, the Foundation has successfully raised funds to support the Broward Center’s innovative and diverse programming, arts-in-education initiatives, community engagement activities and capital projects. Most recently, the Foundation raised $60 million to complete the Encore! capital campaign to renovate, renew and revitalize the Broward Center.
About The Broward Center for the Performing Arts
One of America’s premier performing arts venues, the Broward Center for the Performing Arts presents more than 700 performances each year to more than 700,000 patrons, showcasing a wide range of exciting cultural programming and events. Guest experiences at the Broward Center include the all-inclusive JetBlue Flight Deck on the Club Level, special events in the Huizenga Pavilion, waterfront dining at Marti’s New River Bistro and innovative classes and workshops for all ages at the Rose Miniaci Arts Education Center. With one of the largest arts-in-education programs in the United States, the Broward Center serves more than 130,000 students annually. The Broward Performing Arts Foundation, Inc. receives and maintains funds to sustain, develop and secure the future of the Broward Center. The Broward Center for the Performing Arts is located in the Riverwalk Arts & Entertainment District at 201 SW Fifth Ave. in Fort Lauderdale. For more information, visit BrowardCenter.org.
The Riverwalk Arts & Entertainment Consortium is a cultural partnership between the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, Florida Grand Opera, Fort Lauderdale History Center and the Historic Stranahan House Museum. It is supported by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners as recommended by the Broward Cultural Council and the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau. Programs are sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.
THE BROWARD PERFORMING ARTS FOUNDATION, INC., REGISTRATION NUMBER SC-00882, MEETS ALL REQUIREMENTS SPECIFIED BY THE FLORIDA SOLICITATION OF CONTRIBUTIONS ACT. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE WITHIN THE STATE 1-800-435-7352 OR CONTACTING WWW.FLORIDACONSUMERHELP.COM. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE. 100% OF YOUR CONTRIBUTION IS RECEIVED BY THE FOUNDATION.