FST's Gompertz Theatre is home to Mainstage productions and includes 237 seats. The Gompertz Theatre has been home to such past productions as Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story, The Play That Goes Wrong, Bright Star, American Son, A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, and more.
History of the Gompertz Theatre
In 2003, FST purchased the Gompertz Theatre. The building was originally the Park-Seventh Movie House in the 1920s. Due to the Depression, the movie house shut its doors and became an empty venue. During its predominantly vacant period in the 1940s, the theatre hosted a variety of road shows and performers, including Tom Mix and his Wonder Horse and the All Girls’ Orchestra. During this time, it was known as the Garden Theater, and later the Art Theater, before becoming known as the Palm Tree Playhouse in 1951. The Playhouse closed again in the 1960s. In the mid 1970s, Asolo Theatre purchased the space for production purposes and their Stage Two Theatre program. It was subsequently sold to Anita Katzman and reoccupied by Siesta Key Actors Theatre and Theatre Works in the 1980s. The building was acquired by Florida Studio Theatre and renamed the Gompertz Theatre in honor of Mrs. Leila Gompertz, who made the lead gift enabling the purchase. Today, FST's Gompertz Theatre entertains thousands of Sarasota audiences each year through the theatre's Winter and Summer Mainstage programs.