A Triple Throwback Thursday salute to the Philharmonic Center for the Arts

Yes, I know it is Wednesday, give me a minute to explain

One of my favorite performing venues in the world is the Philharmonic Center for the Arts in Naples, Florida. I was part of a terrific team of people who opened the theater thirty two years ago today (November 3, 1989). To celebrate that festive occasion I am providing three days of memories on my blog. So the usual Throwback Thursday is extended this week to include Wednesday and Friday as well.

Three decades after it opened it has been re-branded “Artis-Naples.” But it will always be fondly remembered by me as “The Phil.” The campus and reach has steadily expanded but the center of the gem is still Hayes Hall, the primary performing venue. I have never seen a prettier theater and the staff keeps it as fresh and lively now as it has always been. As the VP of Operations I had many responsibilities. One was to arrange marketing material with a professional photographer to showcase the theater. The photographer and I got along famously and new technology for the time was used to make some astounding photos.

Because the theater was busy and booked every single day we had to arrange an overnight shoot. It was just me, a couple of stagehands and the photographer. After stunning shots were taken he asked if I wanted a souvenir for all the assistance I had provided. The following shot is one of several he took (and this is my favorite).

Isn’t that one of the most beautiful theaters you have ever seen? Even with that silly dork in the foreground.

Over the next two days I will provide further memories about that extraordinary place. If you are ever in Naples you must stop and check it out. Tell them I sent you and you will get many blank stares as there are only a couple of people left from those days who might remember me. Still worth a visit.

As always you can find more at www.walterthinnes.com and on Twitter @walterthinnes

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