Grand Center Arts District
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ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), May 18, 2014 - After nearly 40 years of neglect, The Sun Theatre, located at 3625 Grandel Sq., reopened its doors with a gala, May 10, 2014. It now becomes the performance venue for the Grand Center Arts Academy.
The Sun Theatre has had a distinguished and colorful history. The building opened on March 2, 1913 as the Victoria Theatre, a German speaking theatre featuring opera, music and theatrical events. Because of anti-German sentiment during World War I, the theatre lost its support and had to close. In subsequent years it would re-emerge as the William Fox Liberty Theatre, a movie house and music venue; the World Burlesque; and the Lotus Club.
In 1942 it reappeared as the Hi-Hat Club and then the 400 Club. It became the Sun Theatre in 1950 and two years later, the Lyn. The Faith Tabernacle Church used the venue between 1967-8.
Vacant for decades, the Sun was badly deteriorated and nearing demolition. The structure was brought back to life through an 11.5 million dollar restoration effort headed by the Lawrence Group in 2013.
"The Sun Theatre will be a cultural asset to be shared with the community: a beacon for the arts, education, and special programming. We are delighted that it will be shared with arts organizations throughout the city," stated Lynne Glickert, CEO and founder to the Grand Center Arts Academy.
"Our students will have access to a space that many professionals don't have. It's really an incredible opportunity. We are serving the community and the community gets to be a part of this whole development that's going on," said Keith Williams, GCAA's director of Dance and Theatre.
The Grand Center Arts Academy, located in the former Carter Carburetor complex at 711 North Grand, is a public charter school serving 550 students from St. Louis and St. Louis County. The school currently serves grades 6-10 and will expand to grades 6-12 by fall of 2015, with 800 students. The only charter school in the City with a focus on the arts, the Academy offers a rigorous academic schedule and professional level arts training in dance, drama, music, choral music and visual arts.
The Fabulous Fox Theatre, on North Grand Avenue, showcases Broadway Series, live concerts, dance performances and special events all year round.
The Fox Theatre was originally built in 1929 for William Fox by theatre architect C. Howard Crane in a style known as Siamese Byzantine. After years of decline, the theatre was purchased by Leon and Mary Strauss and beautifully restored in the 1980s by Pantheon Construction Company.
David Robertson officially began his tenure as the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra's 12th Music Director, when the season opened in September 2005. Robertson, the inspiring and charismatic American-born conductor, has received international acclaim for his ability to motivate audiences with his innovative programs.
The Saint Louis Symphony celebrates the fact that it is an American Orchestra that gained international attention with an American conductor (Leonard Slatkin) performing an American repertory.
As the second-oldest symphony orchestra in the United States, the Saint Louis Symphony honors its tradition of presenting stellar performers and captivating works for generations of concert-goers.
The spectacular First Night takes place at Grand Center in style for a New Year's Eve celebration. Families, friends and visitors can enjoy a parade, mimes, jugglers, stilt walkers, fire-eaters, magic artists, live entertainment and numerous participatory art and theatre opportunities. The evening festivities include an early fireworks show for young families and the grande finale fireworks at midnight.
First Night, a not-for-profit endeavor, was originally launched in 1976 in Boston, as an alcohol-free event created to provide the community with a unique alternative to the traditional New Year's Eve celebration.
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