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Fitzgerald Theater

About Fitzgerald Theater :
The Fitzgerald Theater is Saint Paul's oldest surviving theater space. It opened in 1910 and was originally named the Sam S. Shubert Theater; it The Fitzgerald Theater was one of four memorial theaters erected by entertainment-industry leaders Lee and J. J. Shubert after the death of their brother Sam. In 1933, it became a movie house screening foreign films and was thus christened the World Theater.

Minnesota Public Radio purchased the theater in 1980 and restored it in 1986 for their live radio program, A Prairie Home Companion® with Garrison Keillor. The theater was again renamed in 1994, this time for author F. Scott Fitzgerald, a native of Saint Paul. Over the years, the Fitzgerald's stage has played host to Broadway musicals, vaudeville shows, film festivals, and concerts of all sorts.

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The Fitzgerald Theater When the Fitzgerald first opened, as the Sam S. Shubert Theater, it was hailed as one of the most beautiful theaters of its day. It was constructed of concrete and steel with a sandstone facade, complete with 16 dressing rooms, a stage that could be raised or lowered by two feet, a built in vacuum-cleaning system and nearly 2,000 electric lights.

The Fitzgerald Theatre seats 996 and is one of those treasures of theater construction known as a "two-balcony dramatic house," of which only a few remain across the country. The physical arrangement of its interior affords near-perfect acoustics and sight-lines. Audiences are provided a unique sense of intimacy as no seat is farther than 87 feet from the stage.

The lobby opens to a beautiful Beaux Arts interior with red plush seats that are of a hue found only in elegant theaters of the same era. Eight opera boxes curve gently toward the stage, each backed by a privacy curtain made from the same burgundy velour used to make the stage curtain.

The proscenium rises 30 feet and measures 36 feet from edge to edge - its arch, like the opera boxes, is finished with ornate plasterwork and glittering gold leaf. The stage floor, constructed with the resilience essential to dance performances, measures 35 feet from proscenium arch to back wall. A fixed orchestra pit is located 8 feet below stage level. In addition, an orchestra pit filler is available which will increase seating to 1028.

From the stage, an actor can see the pipes of the theater's own Mighty Wurlitzer, a three-manual, 21-rank organ that was originally installed in 1926 in the Texas Theater in San Antonio - it was brought to the Fitzgerald with the 1986 renovation.

The Fitzgerald theatre is one of the Twin Cities' nicest theaters, with admirable acoustics and three tiers of seating plus a collection of opera boxes, all relatively close to the stage. The theater's many assets make it popular with touring acts that could probably sell out much larger venues.

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