C Fi 9927

Elvis was in the building - the Opera House, that is. The Opera House was built in 1926 in the style of a Mediterranean Revival theatre. Its flexible design accommodated programing from theater to silent films to vaudeville. Originally known as the Florida Theatre, the shows performed there were an important part of the promotion of Sarasota as a vacation destination.

Over the years, many big acts took the stage of the Florida Theatre, including the Ziegfeld Follies, Will Rogers and Elvis himself. Presley’s appearance took place on February 21, 1956. He had cut his first records the previous month, and “Heartbreak Hotel” had been released as a single. Music lovers paid 76 cents to go to a matinee performance and $1.00 for his evening gig.

Edith Barr Dunn, owner of The Waffle Stop, was working there as a waitress when Elvis came in for a bite. He left her a 50 cent tip and a signed picture. She pocketed the generous tip and tossed the picture in the trash. When Barr Dunn saw Elvis on the Ed Sullivan Show, she realized she had waited on the “King” – and had pitched what would have been a valuable souvenir.

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Mandy Fulton

Mandy Fulton is completing her final year at Ringling College of Art and Design, studying fine arts. In Sarasota, she runs a local tie dye business where you can find her on Instagram @thetiedyeria. Her art work is primarily experimental. She uses mediums such as mold that allow room for chance to come into play, while incorporating elements of control herself. Mandy is currently interested in the art of abstraction through nature, but she used to work more figurative-based.

I wanted to be a part of this experience to bring art to the community, and do so with fellow friends. I think sidewalk art is such an exciting way to view art, getting to walk up directly on what you are looking at is a fun way to experience seeing art work. The variety of different artist's styles is something else that I love about this experience. Each piece is so diverse in style, and as you walk from square to square you can recall seeing an artist's hand you have already become familiar with. This project also brought a lot of people together in a positive way. Families gathering on a hot sunny day to paint together was very heart warming.

First, a clown. Then, Sarasota's Citrus Growers Association. An old drive-in movie theatre. Then, a map of the state, surrounded by native plants. I even had the pleasure of painting Elvis! I completed an alligator in Myakka State Park. And finally, an illustration-based piece of an old railroad.

Written By

Nanette Crist

Nanette Crist is a retired lawyer who began blogging when she moved to Florida. It was an online diary of sorts, a way to keep track of her new life. It was also a good way to share her discoveries with friends and family outside the area. Over time, Nanette realized her writing makes her experience the world differently. She keeps an eye out for interesting things to write about and then delves more deeply into them as she crafts her words. It's all about telling the story. Nanette's blog can be found at http://nanettesnewlife.blogspot.com.

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The Fountain Kitchen & Wine Bar

Known for having the Best Pizza in Sarasota, The Fountain Kitchen & Wine Bar serves edgy Italian-fusion cuisine from Executive Chef Alberto Colin. Located just a short walk from Main Street in downtown Sarasota, in the artistic Burns Square neighborhood near The Exchange and Burns Court Cinema, The Fountain offers our patrons great food, great drink and a great location. They have excellent food with indoor as well as outdoor seating by the fountain!