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Pensacola Little Theatre is a non-profit community theatre that began by performing dramatic theatre for three years before the Great Depression hit under the named Pensacola Civic Drama Players. Pensacola Little Theatre encourages and embodies cultural diversity, opportunity, and progression in the Pensacola community as its mission. Pensacola Little Theatre is one of the South’s oldest community theatres. Pensacola Little Theatre is located in the Pensacola Cultural Center, which Pensacola Little Theatre dedicated to the Cultural Center’s maintenance and preservation since 1996. The organization does many different types of theatre, which includes Broadway-style, musicals, dramas, comedies, classics, original plays, and music revues, that they offer to everyone that is in the area.

Pensacola Little Theatre/Pensacola Cultural Center

Pensacola Cultural Center’s Building

Pensacola Little Theatre’s Icon

Pensacola Little Theatre’s Icon

Pensacola Cultural Center’s Layout

Pensacola Cultural Center’s Layout

Pensacola Little Theatre’s Performers Inside the Quonset

Pensacola Little Theatre’s Performers Inside the Quonset

Pensacola Cultural Center and Pensacola Little Theatre Sign (Other Side of Old Escambia County Court of Record Building Sign)

Pensacola Cultural Center and Pensacola Little Theatre Sign

Old Escambia County Court of Record Building Sign (Other Side of Pensacola Cultural Center and Pensacola Little Theatre Sign)

Old Escambia County Court of Record Building Sign

Court of Record Construction in 1911

Court of Record Construction in 1911

Cultural Center Renovation in 1994

Cultural Center Renovation in 1994

The Old Florida Movie House on Palafox Street in 1943

The Old Florida Movie House on Palafox Street in 1943

Pensacola Little Theatre was formed in 1926 under the named of Pensacola Civic Drama Players at the San Carlos Hotel. The group performed three years before the Great Depression caused the group to stopped. After the group’s dark period in 1936, the group was reestablished as an organization through President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Hopkins’ Works Progress Administration (WPA), which was started 1935 and created theatre companies across the country as part of the federal government’s recovery program during the Great Depression, and the organization was renamed to Pensacola Little Theatre, Inc. In 1977, Pensacola Little Theatre created the Pensacola Little Theatre Guild to support the theatre’s mission and its efforts to find a permanent home, and the guild lasted for 40 years before retiring. The guild was essential for Pensacola Little Theatre’s public face, house’s front, and fundraising. Nowadays, the organization is made up of thousand of volunteers, who come from varies walks of life. These volunteers banded together across generations to showcase Pensacola’s residents’ artistic talents. The organization is now one of the oldest community theatres in the Southeastern United States.

Pensacola Little Theatre was said to travel around to performed with many of their early performances being held in the Old Chamber of Commerce auditorium before performing at Pensacola High School. In the 1949, the Board of Directors developed a plan for a more permanent home for Pensacola Little Theatre. In January 1952, Pensacola Little Theatre’s first home was the Quonset, and the organization started their all-volunteer productions in there until the 1970s. In the 1970s, the Quonset had deteriorated as well as improvements were excessively expensive. The creation of a new building was also out of reach to the organization, which led the Board of Directors to consider already existing building. In 1977, the Quonset was sold, and Pensacola Little Theatre moved into the old Florida Movie House that is located on Palafox Street for about 19 years.

In the early 1990s, Pensacola Little Theatre convince the Escambia County Commissioners that there needs to be a central location with space and facilities for existing and new arts groups was needed because of a commissioned study that the organization did, and the study found that 24 local arts organizations had similar needs as Pensacola Little Theatre. The place that Pensacola Little Theatre deemed this was the long-abandoned landmark that was built in 1911, which was Escambia County Court of Records Building and Jail. This build was renovated into the Pensacola Cultural Center. Pensacola Little Theatre had home to its own with other arts organizations with Pensacola Little Theatre’s first production in the Cultural Center was “the Wizard of Oz” in January 1996. The Cultural Center is also home to Ballet Pensacola, Liberty Church, and the West Florida Literary Federation as well as countless community events and organizations.

Pensacola Little Theatre’s vision is to celebrate the importance of the arts in the Pensacola community by providing the locals opportunities to usage and cultivate their talents in presenting theatrical production in the Pensacola Cultural Center that is steeped in historic tradition.

History, Pensacola Little Theatre. Accessed March 15, 2021. https://www.pensacolalittletheatre.com/history.

The link is connected to the Pensacola Little Theatre’s official site. This site is where they put down information about the happenings in the theatre. This specific link talks about Pensacola Little Theatre’s history starting from 1926 to the current day. The theatre started under the name Pensacola Civic Drama Players. The link mentions that the group had a period of “dark years” after three years before being reestablished through the Works Progress Administration (WPA). It brings up that the theatre created Pensacola Little Theatre Guild that lasted for 40 years; it started in 1977. This guild played a vital role in keeping the theatre alive by fundraising and being the face of the theatre during that period. Nowadays, the theatre is only volunteers, which are residents from different ways of life, for generations. The link holds prime information that brings up the theatre's history to my research of it.

Pensacola Little Theatre, Downtown Pensacola. Accessed March 15, 2021. https://downtownpensacola.com/businesses/pensacola-little-theatre.

The link is connected to the Downtown Pensacola’s site, which is where the Pensacola Little Theatre is located in. The site points out that Pensacola Little Theatre is a nonprofit organization that relies on volunteers and donations. They hosted classes to teach and enrich adults and children in the area no matter if they live it the area or not. It continues to talk about Pensacola Little Theatre’s vision and ultimate mission is to enhance and celebrate the cultural agenda and importance of the community it is in. The site mentions that the theatre does special events, plays, performances, musicals, programs, and classes to aid in their mission. The site states that the theatre seeks for participants involvement throughout the creative processes to explore universal themes and related issues. The link illustrates the different aspects that Pensacola Little Theatre has, which is relevant to my research of Pensacola Little Theatre.

Who We Are, Pensacola Little Theatre. Accessed March 15, 2021. https://www.pensacolalittletheatre.com/who-we-are.

This is another link that is connected to the Pensacola Little Theatre’s official website. The link explains the theatre’s mission and where they are located at. It explains that they are committed to providing quality productions and cultural productions for the Pensacola community artists with using innovative and collaborated programming as well as the respect to the tradition and grandness that is the community theatre, which provides something to everyone. It continues to state that the Pensacola Cultural Center, which they are located in, serves as the mecca of local volunteerism and cultural opportunity, and the Cultural Center is also home to Ballet, Liberty Church, the West Florida Literary Federation, and many other community events during the year. It mentions that Pensacola Little Theatre’s vision is to celebrate the importance of the artis in the Pensacola community by providing opportunities for locals to use and improve their talents in theatrical productions in state-of-the-art facility, which is the Pensacola Cultural Center, steeped in historic tradition. At the bottom of the page, it gives operation hours, or box office hours, address, phone number, and the website, which it goes back to the homepage.

Pensacola Little Theatre, Visit Pensacola. Accessed March 15, 2021. https://www.visitpensacola.com/listing/pensacola-little-theatre/447/.

The link goes to the Visit Pensacola’s website, which shows everything that Pensacola has to offer. The Visit Pensacola’s page for Pensacola Little Theatre gives the Pensacola Little Theatre’s address, phone number, official website is linked, the event page for the productions that Pensacola Little Theatre is doing, and a link that goes straight to the official tweeter page for Pensacola Little Theatre. It states that Pensacola Little Theatre was founded in 1936. The site also states that Pensacola Little Theatre is a non-profit community organization. The site continues by stating that Pensacola Little Theatre gives experiences for adults and children who either lives in or visits Pensacola by providing theatrical experiences that will entertain, enrich, and educate them. The site also gives different images of Pensacola Little Theatre, which includes the Pensacola Cultural Center, Pensacola Little Theatre’s icon, and different images from the productions that Pensacola Little Theatre produces.

Pensacola Little Theatre, IMPACT100 Pensacola Bay Area. Accessed March 15, 2021. https://impact100pensacola.org/grant-recipient/ballet-pensacola-led-wall.

The site explains that Pensacola Little Theatre’s mission is to enrich, educate, and entertain the community by providing a diverse theatre experience through a volunteer-driven performance and educational outreach to adults and children. It also states Pensacola Little Theatre been in the Pensacola Bay Area since 1936. It continues with stating that Pensacola Little Theatre impact over 10000 individual every year with over a thousand volunteers giving nearly 80000 hours of volunteer service. This site gives insight to the importance of the Pensacola Cultural Center to Pensacola Little Theatre. It states that the Pensacola Cultural Center is a historic building owed and operated by Pensacola Little Theatre. It continues with that the Pensacola Cultural Center embodies the cultural diversity, progression, and opportunity for the Pensacola community. It states that Pensacola Little Theatre takes pride in serving as the longest continually operating community theatre in Southeastern United States. It states that Pensacola Little Theatre started from humble beginnings into a volunteer-driven theatre and educational outreach in Northwest Florida.

Pensacola Little Theatre, Pensapedia. Accessed March 15, 2021. https://www.pensapedia.com/wiki/Pensacola_Little_Theatre.

The site states that Pensacola Little Theatre is one of the South’s oldest community theatre. It continued to state that Pensacola Little Theatre was started in 1936 by the WPA, and Pensacola Little Theatre performed 6 plays in their first season. It mentions that Pensacola Little Theatre moved from one location to another over the decades. It states that Escambia County Commission transferred the abandoned County Courthouse to Pensacola Little Theatre in the early 1990s for the purpose of a central arts center, which was called the Pensacola Cultural Center. The Cultural Center became a three-story building that was built in 1911, and the center offers ample space for offices, rehearsal room, and a 442-seat theatre, which the renovations were complete in 1996. It continues by saying Pensacola Little Theatre first show in that building was the “the Wizard of Oz.” It gives the different types of performance Pensacola Little Theatre performs as well as offers educational classes for performance to children and adults. The site mentions that Pensacola Little Theatre takes performances in the Cultural Center and on the road year around as well as offers free performances and drama workshops to underserved communities. The site gives Pensacola Little Theatre’s website and phone number.

Image Sources(Click to expand)

https://www.pensacolalittletheatre.com/

https://m.facebook.com/PensacolaLittleTheatre/photos/a.448796567356/10155458216102357/?type=3&source=54&ref=page_internal

https://www.pensacolalittletheatre.com/patron-services

https://www.pensacolalittletheatre.com/history

https://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM1177E_Old_Escambia_County_Court_of_Record_Building_1912_1978_Pensacola_Little_Theater_Pensacola_Cultural_Center

https://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM1177E_Old_Escambia_County_Court_of_Record_Building_1912_1978_Pensacola_Little_Theater_Pensacola_Cultural_Center

https://www.pensapedia.com/wiki/Pensacola_Cultural_Center

https://www.pensapedia.com/wiki/Pensacola_Cultural_Center

https://www.pensapedia.com/wiki/Florida_Theater#:~:text=The%20Florida%20Theatre%20was%20a,Palafox%20Street%20in%20downtown%20Pensacola.