|Lake Worth Playhouse circa 1924|
I parked a couple of streets away and walked to the Playhouse. I didn't know anything about the venue, but sat fascinated with the woodwork and stucco as I waited for the event to start. The Lake Worth Playhouse was built in 1924 by Lucien and Clarence Oakley, brothers who moved to Florida from Illinois and wanted to build a movie and vaudeville venue.
The Lake Worth Playhouse website says that the Playhouse was built at a cost of $150,000, an astounding amount in those days. It was considered opulent for the time and included a $10,000 Wurlitzer pipe organ with a built-in piano.
Destroyed in the 1928 hurricane that wreaked havoc on all of South Florida, it was rebuilt just in time for the Depression. It went through several owners and forms of entertainment before winding down and shutting its doors. In 1953, it was reopened by a group of Lake Worth citizens but it wasn't until 1975 that it was renovated and re-opened with a "never-be-dark" policy that led to a steady stream of events.
|Lake Worth Playhouse Interior|
|Carrie Buck in 1924|
by A.E. Estabrook