St. Petersburg City Theatre: a Classic Icon of Community Theatre.
The oldest, continuously operating community theatre in the state of Florida. We have been providing quality entertainment since 1925, and we’re still setting the bar for live community theatre excellence!
St. Petersburg City Theatre aims to enrich the individual lives and collective spirit of our diverse population through community produced productions and educational experiences.
More than Community Theatre; Theatre in the Community!
City Theatre has something for everyone!
City Theatre History
Founded as the Sunshine Players in 1925 during St. Petersburg’s big boom years, we became the Players Club in the late 1920’s and St. Petersburg Little Theatre in 1933. The name remained Little Theatre until 2011 when St. Petersburg City Theatre was adopted.
City Theatre was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1937 to promote and create local theatre dedicated to teaching and training non-professional artists of any age. The theatre’s goal of creating a vibrant theatre arts community in the area remains the central focus as it enters its 90th Season.
Originally, plays were produced only for one or two nights. The first production produced by the Sunshine Players was The Poor Nut, a comedy in three acts by JC Nugent and Elliott Nugent.
In the late 1930’s, an old grist mill on Second Avenue North was purchased. The new facility opened in June 1944. Throughout WWII servicemen both participated in and enjoyed shows at no cost, providing important rest and relaxation to the troops stationed locally.
In the 1950’s, property was purchased at our present location on 31st Street South and was one of the first facilities in the Tampa Bay area to be erected as a theater. In September 1958, Teahouse of the August Moon became the first production in the new space, and the season was expanded to accommodate six plays.
The 1960’s brought further growth and expansion with the production of City Theatre’s first musical, The Pajama Game along with a major renovation to the space. The costume room and green room were added to the building, and the original screened-in verandah was enclosed to form the lobby.
In 1983, membership celebrated the burning of the mortgage on the property and building. In 1994, the last major renovation took place with a new restroom wing constructed to meet ADA standard.
In 2007 City Theatre expanded its youth and adult programming and instituted The Academy at City Theatre, with a focus on arts education. For decades, City Theatre Currently, The Academy offers classes for youth ages 4 – 17. For more information about our educational programming and classes available, visit the Education page.