Stage Curtain at the Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center

Dublin Core


Stage Curtain at the Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center

Alternative Title

Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center


Sanford (Fla.)
Performing Arts--United States
Theater--21st century


The stage curtain at the Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center in 2011. Originally the Milane Theatre, the building was constructed at 203 South Magnolia Avenue in Sanford, the former location of the Star Theatre, an abandoned movie house. Scroggs and Ewing, architects from Georgia, prepared the plans for the Milane. The name of the new theater was derived from the combination of the presidents of the Milane Amusement Company president and vice president: Frank L. Miller and Edward F. Lane. The Milane opened in July of 1923 and seated 823 patrons. In 1933, the Milane was sold to Frank and Stella Evans, investors from Lake Mary, Florida. The new owners renamed their business the Ritz Theatre and held the property until the 1990s. However, the Ritz struggled financially in the 1960s and closed in 1978 due to failure to compete with the new multiplex theaters. The building remained vacant until 1984, when it reopened as the Showtime Cantina. The Showtime Cantina closed in 1988 and remained vacant and in decay. In the mid-1990s, Ritz Community Theater Projects, Inc. acquired the property and began rehabilitation in 1998. On May 6, 2000, the theater reopened as the Helen Stairs Theatre in honor of the citizen who led the restoration project, Helen Stairs. The following year, the location was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2008, additional renovations were completed at the theater was renamed the Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center in honor of the Wayne Densch Charitable Trust Fund for contributing to the renovations fund.


Cepero, Laura


Original color digital image by Laura Cepero, June 9, 2011.

Date Created


Is Part Of

Milane Theatre Collection, Sanford Collection, Seminole County Collection, RICHES of Central Florida.




854 KB


1 color digital image




Still Image


Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center, Sanford, Florida

Spatial Coverage

28.810527, -81.266859

Temporal Coverage


Accrual Method

Item Creation


History Teacher
Economics Teacher
Geography Teacher
Humanities Teacher
Theater Teacher


Originally created by Laura Cepero and owned by RICHES of Central Florida.

Contributing Project


Cepero, Laura

Digital Collection

Source Repository

External Reference

"Helen Stairs Theatre." StageClick.
Sanford: Our First 125 Years. Sanford, Florida: Seminole Herald, 2002.
"Theater History." Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center.
"Wayne Densch Performing Arts Center." Seminole County: Florida's Natural Choice.

Still Image Item Type Metadata

Original Format

1 color digital image



Transcribe This Item

  1. SC00328.jpg