By Kathy L. Collins

Ruth Eckerd Hall, a performing arts venue, is located at 1111 N. McMullen Booth Rd. in Clearwater. It is undergoing an extensive renovation. Ruth Eckerd Hall opened in 1983 and serves over 350,000 patrons each year. Like other major venues in the Tampa Bay area, Ruth Eckerd Hall is a major contributor to the local economy.

The renovations are headed by local architectural and design firm Klar and Klar Architects, Inc. Steve Klar, founder and co-principal of the firm said, “We are aiming for a finished look that inspires patronage in the arts and educational programs offered which are so vital to our local community’s tourism trade and economy.”

This is a large multi-phase project. The five phases will encompass a total project time of over three years. Ruth Eckerd Hall will remain open throughout the renovations. Phases one and two are expected to be completed in the spring of 2018.

The changes that will take place at the 73,000 sq. ft. venue include a new and improved entrance to ease traffic, and a new West Lobby which will be available for pre and post events. Currently, there is no lobby. According to Klar, “The new lobby is designed to enhance the overall experience of each patron visiting Ruth Eckerd Hall before and after a performance. It includes more areas to eat, drink, socialize and mingle.”

Klar said, “Ruth Eckerd Hall is one of the Tampa Bay area’s premier performing arts centers. It is one of the most successful based on its venue size. The new ‘experience’ will be improved with their new on site pre-event dining, more bar and beverage facilities, and a larger Dress Circle Club. There will also be more pre-event entertainment provided by Ruth Eckerd Hall in-house educational programs.”

Klar and Klar Architects, Inc. is a full-service architectural and interior design firm located in the Tampa Bay area. Since the firm’s inception in 1992, Klar and Klar’s mission has been to enhance the culture of an area through design excellence and create and build an environment that will sustain the test of time.

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