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Polk Theatre and Office Building - Lakeland, FL
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member lazyCachers
N 28° 02.627 W 081° 57.438
17R E 405911 N 3102422
Quick Description: Located in the downtown area of Lakeland, Florida at 139 South Florida Avenue.
Location: Florida, United States
Date Posted: 5/14/2008 9:17:35 AM
Waymark Code: WM3T64
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 11

Long Description:
This theatre opened on December 22, 1928 with Warner Brothers all-talking special, “On Trial”. The two most impressive technological features of the Polk were the theatre’s 100 ton air wash system to chill the air, and its Vitaphone sound on reel film system. The air conditioning system was such a drain on the city’s power supply that during its early years of operation it caused lights to dim all across town when turned on. It also required an operator to turn it on and off. When it became too cold, an usher ran down to the basement to tell the operator to shut the system down.

Notables to perform through the years include Sally Rand with her famous fan dance, Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, Gene Krupa, Eddy Arnold, Tom Mix, Gene Autrey, Glenn Miller and the king himself, Elvis Presley in 1956.

Information taken from (visit link)

Elvis played 3 shows in this theatre on August 6, 1956. In an upstairs dressing room there is an autograph by Elvis Presley. Apparently he and his band played there in the 50s, right after he became popular on KWKH's "Louisiana Hay Ride" and right before he broke big internationally. It was probably Elvis' first nation-wide tour. The Polk Theater folks have placed plexi-glass over the signature and rarely let people go into the dressing area. Those that are lucky enough to get a tour of the facility catch a quick glimpse of the autograph.
Information taken from (visit link) and (visit link)

Update: In March 2008, water infiltrated dressing rooms, storage areas and the auditorium, forcing removal of carpets, drywall and ceilings, including a treasured piece of wall signed by Elvis Presley after a performance in 1956. Repair crews from Waller Emergency Services cut out the section of wall Friday and took it away for protection and drying. Waller employees said Presley's signature was still visible.
Taken from (visit link)
Street address:
139 South Florida Ave
Lakeland, FL USA
33801


County / Borough / Parish: Polk County

Year listed: 1993

Historic (Areas of) Significance: Event, Architecture/Engineering

Periods of significance: 1925-1949

Historic function: Commerce/Trade, Recreation And Culture

Current function: Recreation And Culture, Work In Progress

Privately owned?: yes

Hours of operation: From: 8:00 PM To: 10:00 PM

Primary Web Site: [Web Link]

Secondary Website 1: [Web Link]

Secondary Website 2: [Web Link]

Season start / Season finish: Not listed

National Historic Landmark Link: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Please give the date and brief account of your visit. Include any additional observations or information that you may have, particularly about the current condition of the site. Additional photos are highly encouraged, but not mandatory.
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Recent Visits/Logs:
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RogueAirPirate visited Polk Theatre and Office Building - Lakeland, FL 2/29/2016 RogueAirPirate visited it
floridakayakgirl visited Polk Theatre and Office Building - Lakeland, FL 3/17/2013 floridakayakgirl visited it
macdonr visited Polk Theatre and Office Building - Lakeland, FL 4/30/2011 macdonr visited it
lazyCachers visited Polk Theatre and Office Building - Lakeland, FL 5/16/2008 lazyCachers visited it

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