The Ruth Eckerd Hall Experience is getting bigger and better. Over the past few years, as part of the Expanding the Experience $32 Million Capital Campaign, members and patrons have helped to successfully renovate the Capitol Theatre – a beloved Downtown Clearwater landmark, the Murray Theatre – the crown jewel of our Education program and the Margarete Heye Great Room — an elegant space where life’s special moments can be celebrated.
Attention now turns to the main Ruth Eckerd Hall campus. In its 35th year, the Ruth Eckerd Hall Experience will undergo a major renovation. Construction is underway on the final stages of Expanding the Experience project, which include some spectacular enhancements to the already world-renowned facility. While the renovation is underway, Ruth Eckerd Hall will continue to present a full slate of world class entertainment. The work is scheduled to be completed by Fall 2019 on several major improvements.
Patrons can look forward to a six times larger Grand Lobby with floor-to-ceiling windows, a two-story Dress Circle member lounge overlooking the Grand Lobby, and a new Raymond James Financial Ticket Office. In addition, two new live music locations are planned at the Kate Tiedemann and Ellen Cotton Cabaret Theatre and The England Family Welcome Pavilion.
The north façade of the existing building will be torn down to expand the current 1,000 square-foot lobby to a 6,000 square-foot grand lobby with floor-to-ceiling glass walls that will provide panoramic views of pre-show activity and amenities from the new outdoor arrival plaza. This will give our venue a sleek, modern look consistent with the building’s other recent exterior renovations (entrances to the Murray Theatre and administration offices) and Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired original design.
Because of the ongoing project, please allow extra time for parking, ticket pick up and security clearance. All patrons will be directed into the main auditorium parking area. For Funded Members, Valet and Handicapped Accessible parking, please stay in the right lane, to be directed to the East Parking area. The West Lobby entrance is closed. All entry and exiting will now be through our East Entrance at The Freedom Boat Club Landing.
On show nights, the main ticket office will close two hours prior to showtime during the construction period. A temporary ticket office booth located next to the east entrance at the Freedom Boat Club Landing will open two hours prior to showtime for will call and sales and will remain open through show time. On non-show days, the main ticket office will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Individuals and businesses who would like to get involved with the Expanding the Experience fund-raising effort or find more renovation details can get more information by visiting rutheckerdhall.com/contribute/expanding-experience.
By Jackie McCallum
Renderings provided by Ruth Eckerd Hall by Klar and Klar (copyright 2018)