No matter how long you explore Central Florida, you can still discover hidden treasure.
That’s what happened to us on Sunday.
We read in the paper that the Sands Theatre Company was doing a live performance of Sweeney Todd–Number One Daughter’s favorite movie. So Mrs. LanceAround, Number One Son and I piled into the van with Number One Daughter and drove to the Athens Theatre in downtown DeLand.
The Athens Theatre opened in 1922 as a vaudeville and silent movie house. It has recently been restored to its 1920′s grandeur with the addition of state-of-the-art rigging, lighting and sound. It is a palatial theatre with a regal feel. The theatre’s name was derived from the vision of town founder, Henry DeLand, who sought to create a city that would be the “Athens of Florida.”
A visit to the Athens Theatre website shows a fascinating photo montage of how the theatre transformed from the 1920′s into a modern 60′s movie house, then into disrepair before being restored to its original grandeur. Another extensive slide show details the loving care that went into creating a modern venue of historic significance.
This place is very special.
In addition to enjoying the old-time theatre, the production of Sweeney Todd by the Sands Theatre Company was outstanding–as good a community theatre as I’ve ever seen.
I did several Google searches while researching this post and could not find many reviews of Sweeny Todd or much information about the Athens Theatre in DeLand. But for the lucky readers of my blog, it’s a great treasure waiting to be discovered by those travelers to Central Florida seeking “more than a mouse.”™