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The Plaza Live

The Plaza Live is one of Orlando, Florida's oldest theaters. It was transformed from a cinema, to a theatre space, and finally a music venue. Having established a strong grass-roots following by doing many lower profile, local shows and events, the theater eventually started bringing in larger, national acts. The Plaza Live is home to two music halls: the main hall, and a second room for smaller shows.

The Plaza Live
The Plaza Theater
The Plaza Live, Orlando, FL.jpg
The Plaza Live located in Orlando, Florida
Address 425 North Bumby Avenue
Orlando, Florida, U.S.
Coordinates 28°32′55″N 81°21′05″W / 28.5487°N 81.3513°W / 28.5487; -81.3513Coordinates: 28°32′55″N 81°21′05″W / 28.5487°N 81.3513°W / 28.5487; -81.3513
Owner Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra
Type Live Music Venue
Capacity Large Room: 937 Seated, 1355 Standing
Opened 1963
Years active 55 years



Dubbed the Rocking Chair Theatre by locals, The Plaza Live was Orlando's first two screen movie theatre. From the 60's up until the early 90's, the theater, small by today's standards, stayed active in a competitive market with declining ticket sales by showing second-run movies and the long running cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show. In 1992, the theater became The Dove Family Entertainment Theatre and changed format, performing only Christian-themed shows. Clearwater-based Salthouse Group purchased the 39-year-old venue in September 2002 for $1.7 million.[1] In 2012 The Plaza removed the old rocking chairs and became a flex seating venue in the summer of 2010 so it could accommodate for standing room or fully seated shows.[2]

The Plaza Live Marquee

In August 2013, the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra purchased The Plaza Live building, contents and the business for $3.4 million. The Philharmonic is currently planning extensive renovations to the historic building to create office space, a rehearsal hall and a music library, and update the existing 1000-seat music hall to accommodate chamber music concerts, while maintaining a schedule of rock, jazz, comedy and contemporary music events. The Plaza Live will continue to operate as one of Florida’s premier concert venues during and after the renovations. This will give the Orlando Philharmonic a permanent home.

Shooting of Christina GrimmieEdit

On June 10, 2016, singer Christina Grimmie, known from YouTube and as a contestant on NBC's The Voice, was shot four times inside the venue after her concert there while signing autographs, and died from her injuries and blood loss at the Orlando Regional Medical Center the following morning.[3] Her killer, identified by the Orlando Police Department as 27-year-old Kevin James Loibl from St. Petersburg, Florida, traveled from his hometown bringing two handguns, two loaded magazines, and a large hunting knife into the venue. Loibl was later tackled by Christina's brother and shortly after, Loibl fatally shot himself. According to Orlando police, the bags of the attendees were checked, but there were no metal detectors at the venue, nor were the attendees frisked.[4][5]

The Main HallEdit

The Small RoomEdit

Since this space wasn't originally made to be a live music hall, starting in 2010, The Plaza began making improvements to the small room, making it more sound efficient for music performances. The facelift included a new PA system, acoustic treatment added to the walls for better sound, and the removal of the tiered floor to increase capacity. The improvements also included a remodeled lighting rig and a permanent sound booth to provide better overall sound quality.[6] The Plaza has hosted many local and national acts in the small room including Rusted Root, The Lee Boys, Joshua Radin, Boyce Avenue, Old 97's, Zach Deputy, Tom Green, Beth McKee, Wanda Jackson, BoDeans, and many more.

After August 1, 2013 the small hall closed awaiting remodeling as an acoustic rehearsal hall for the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra in Q3, 2014.

Past showsEdit

Some other shows hosted by the Plaza Live include Iron & Wine, House of Heroes, Andrew Bird, The Subdudes, Janice Ian, Jenny Lewis, Air Supply, Victor Wooten, The Radiators, Pete Yorn, Copeland, Family Force 5, City and Colour, Tab Benoit, Five for Fighting, Duncan Sheik, Colin Hay, Four Bitchin Babes, Punch Brothers, John Waite, Michelle Branch, Bryan Adams, Blue Öyster Cult, Brandi Carlile, Of Montreal, The Naked and Famous, Rick Springfield, John Prine, Christina Grimmie, Arlo Guthrie and many more.

The Plaza Live has hosted local festivals, as well, including Orlando's Jambando,[7] Rock for Hunger[8] and The Orange You Glad Music Festival 2012.[9]


  1. ^ "Plaza Theatre in Orlando, FL - Cinema Treasures". Retrieved 2016-06-12. 
  2. ^ "Orlando historic rocking chair theatre seating for sale (900+ units) - Cinema Treasures". Retrieved 2016-06-12. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ Sanchez, Boris; Ellis, Ralph; Sutton, Joe; Ansari, Azadeh (June 12, 2016). "Orlando police ID man who killed 'Voice' singer Christina Grimmie". CNN. Retrieved June 12, 2016. 
  5. ^ Sederholm, Jillian; Chuck, Elizabeth; DiCasimirro, Gemma; Roecker, Molly (June 11, 2016). "Gunman Who Killed 'The Voice' Singer Christina Grimmie Had Two Weapons, Ammo, Knife: Police". NBC News. Retrieved June 11, 2016. 
  6. ^ "Music & Nightlife - Staff Picks". Orlando Weekly. July 18, 2012. Archived from the original on November 14, 2012. Retrieved 2016-06-11. 
  7. ^ "Jambando Orlando: Central Florida's premier jam band showcase since 2003". Retrieved 2016-06-12. 
  8. ^ "Apache2 Ubuntu Default Page: It works". Retrieved 2016-06-12. 
  9. ^ "Soundboard | Orlando Music Blog - Orlando Sentinel". Retrieved 2016-06-12. 

External linksEdit