Theatre History

Inside_600Theatre History 

 Titusville Playhouse, lnc. was established on Aug 29, 1965.  It was created by combining two local theatre groups, THE MASK AND HAMMER PLAYERS and the TITUSVILLE LITTLE THEATRE.  These small volunteer theatre groups had begun performing in 1954 wherever they could set up a stage – the Whispering Hills Country Club, the Titusville Marina, Titusville High School, Florida Wonderland, and and the Elks Club.  They eventually leased an old city garage on Blanton Street, which was little more than a three sided lean-to. Completing the fourth side, the group opened the popular musical THE KING AND I with a dirt floor, kitchen chairs, a leaky roof, and little elsel

After the original ‘garage’ playhouse was condemned, TPI purchased an old church building on Dummit Avenue. Using borrowed money and its savings, TPI renovated the building and created a 92-seat theatre producing 5 shows per season.  It was opened it to the public on May 12,1972.

One Magnolia-Hotel---1920s_500of the highlights in TPI’s history occurred in 1981 with the purchase of the old Florida Theatre in the heart of downtown Titusville. Following a massive fundraising drive and utilizing over $500,000 in private, corporate, civic and government donations and thousands of hours of volunteer labor, the Emma Parrish Theatre opened to the public on September 21, 1984.  One of the primary donors of the restoration project was J.J. Parrish.  He provided a $150,000 donation which became the foundation to the remaining fundraising.  As a tribute, the theatre venue was named after his mother, Emma Parrish. The new theatre produced 6 shows per season and added a children’s theatre program known as Rising Stars.

History about our building – it was originally built in 1905 as a Saloon and Hotel.  By the 1910’s it had made improvements and became the Magnolia Hotel and Theatre showing silent films and hosted vaudeville shows.  The Magnolia Theatre later (in the 1930’s and 1940’s) showed feature movies and by the late 1950’s had a new owner and became the Florida Theatre until in closed in 1972.  The building remained empty and fell into disrepair until TPI purchased it in 1981. (And yes it’s true, the building is haunted…but that’s another story)

TPI-Exterior_500Since 2009, TPI has experienced a re-birth.  With a new leadership team, TPI has transformed itself into a quality community theatre and box office sales have grown 400%!  We are nearly complete with our 4-year $600,000 renovation of the theatre.  And the remodeled theatre looks beautiful!!

2015 marks TPI’s 50th year and has re-established itself as the cultural and live-entertainment hub of North Brevard.

Titusville Playhouse Inc by Titusville Playhouse Inc