Besides being a popular tourist destination, the Clearwater area has many artistic and cultural opportunities and activities. The diverse interests of the museums, theaters and art galleries of Clearwater area attract the visitors of varied interests and tastes and bestows a multi-dimensional profile to the area. Throughout the many unique communities, few places in Florida offer such a great variety of art galleries and museums like the general Clearwater area and especially in nearby St. Petersburg.
The historic Capitol Theatre was built in 1921. It is one of the oldest operating theaters in Florida. While comparatively small by today's standards, the theatre retains its original charm. The theatre actively promotes various entertainment including music, comedy, dance and movies shows.
More at: Capitol Theatre
Ruth Eckerd Hall
A new era of celebrating arts and culture began in Clearwater in 1977, with June Baumgardner Gelbart donating 38 acres of land to the City. The desire of the donor was to use this land for establishing a performing arts center to develop arts and cultural activities. In 1978, a private non-profit organization called the Performing Arts Center and Theater, Inc. (PACT, Inc.) was established by the city to direct all its operations, which was eventually renamed as Ruth Eckerd Hall Foundation, Inc in 2007.
A state-of-the art concert hall was constructed at the site and Ruth Eckerd Hall was dedicated to the community in 1983. A world-class 2,180-seat auditorium is the central feature of this magnificent 73,000 square foot facility. Every year, around 200 events are hosted by the center arranged by the foundation governing the center, reputed arts organizations of the nation, and by the community groups. The acoustically perfect chamber provides a unique experience to the listeners. The handsome and finely equipped hall stages a variety of artistic and cultural activities ranging into musical shows, dance troupes, stand-up comedies, orchestras, theater, and musical shows, in addition to special children shows.
A nation-wide poll of technicians, artists and their management has nominated Ruth Eckerd Hall among the top five concert halls in the United States. In addition, the hall has also secured the 1986 Governor's design award from the state of Florida for excellence in facility development. In total each year about 350,000 audience members visit Ruth Eckerd Hall for various performances witnessing grand presentations by globally reputed classical artists, dance companies, pop stars and Broadway musicals. Annually more than 200,000 students and adults are benefited through the various art educational programs conducted by the center. See schedule and more information at: Ruth Eckerd Hall.
The Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, part of the Progress Energy Center for the Arts, is one such venue. (The Progress Energy Center also includes a 7-acre park and a plaza for public and flexible use.) This European-style theater is truly one of the most elegant theaters in Florida and it continues to attract music aficionados from all over the greater Tampa area and beyond with its fine array of offerings. See schedule and more information at: Mahaffey Theater.
Salvador Dali Museum
Salvador Dali is a world famous museum located on the beachfront of St. Petersburg. The site exhibits the amazing masterpieces of this Spanish painter ranging in 96 oil paintings, a diverse set of watercolors, incredible sculptures, sketches and many other objects of art. On the whole, there are about 2,500 exhibits. Dali's accomplishments and masterpieces are steeped in the surrealistic tradition bringing it live before our eyes. The works of his earlier life were dedicated to still lifes, portraits and landscapes, while the later works feature astounding double images and religious themes. The Salvador Dali museum exhibits some of the original masterpieces from this accomplished artist.
Florida International Museum
Florida International Museum in St. Petersburg is an affiliate unit of the Smithsonian Institution. This internationally reputed museum displays the temporary exhibits in a rotating manner supplied by the Smithsonian institution, and other national and international sources. Past exhibits have included Titanic: The Exhibition, Splendors of Ancient Egypt, Treasures of the Czars, Alexander the Great and other equally significant and popular presentations.