IceHouse Theatre starts a major renovation

The IceHouse Theatre in Mount Dora is starting a big renovation project, which will add largely to its lobby — planned to wrap partway around the building — and improve its parking area. Here’s a detailed announcement from the theater, describing the project at length:

The IceHouse Theatre announces groundbreaking on a major renovation project

The IceHouse Board of Directors is pleased to announce a major renovation project slated to commence in June with completion in time for the opening of IceHouse Theatre’s 64th Season in September, 2011.  The Theatre’s reception area, parking and landscaping will undergo a spectacular transformation in a stunning expansion and redesign of its public space and patron amenities.  The IceHouse Theatre is located at 1100 N. Unser Street, Mount Dora, Florida.

The primary focus in the design stage has been to increase our patrons’ comfort and offer conveniences that suit the expectations of modern consumers of the performing arts.  The present lobby will be enlarged and the previous terrace will be enclosed to provide a spacious 2000 sq. foot, L-shaped wrap-around gathering area.  The new construction will feature an array of window seating and a wine bar with enhanced concession offerings.  Carolyn Sonnentag, IceHouse Treasurer, hopes that our theater goers will be thrilled with this rebuild of a Mount Dora icon.  Because of Mrs. Sonnentag’s excitement toward making a luxurious difference in our public space, the initial gift has been provided by the Sonnentag Foundation, which is steered by the philanthropic generosity of John and Carolyn Sonnentag of Mount Dora, FL.  The Sonnentags own and operate Quality Culvert Inc., based in Astatula, Florida, a manufacturing firm for concrete pipe and HDPE pipe used in municipal and private water management.

“We have chosen to make this investment in the future of the IceHouse, as we have come to believe in its value as a vital and enduring thread in Mount Dora’s social and cultural fabric,” state the Sonnentags, “and we are asking other IceHouse patrons and advocates who share in this vision, to assist us in this historic renovation.  While our gift will get the project underway, a fund-raising goal of $200,000 has been set in order to see the design through to its fully realized potential.  Naming rights are available for substantial contributions and a Wall of Appreciation in the lobby will recognize donors at a range of giving levels.  The IceHouse Theatre is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and donations are tax-deductible.  We urge you to join us in this endeavor with donations of any denomination,” comments Mrs. Sonnentag.

“For my part, it has been an extremely interesting challenge to rethink the space, inside and out, with an eye to honoring the unique charm of Mount Dora’s beloved community theater,” begins Dale Fish, Project Manager/Designer of the IceHouse renovation.  “The first benchmark is to expand the total footprint of the lobby and covered car and motorcoach valet area to 3000 square feet while also reconfiguring the flow of movement to optimize the use of space when the facility is at maximum occupancy.  The second desire is to give the Theatre a face-lift using classic architectural elements that give it a timeless feel.  The theater will look new, and yet, as if it was always meant to appear this way.  The building’s renaissance will be completed with a low maintenance stucco finish to upgrade its curb appeal.”

Dale Fish continues, “the design will blend this building into its environment, taking advantage of the contours of the hundred-year-old oaks and incorporating them into the plan.  Exterior colors in a palette of earth tones will complement the landscaping, accented by attractive lighting throughout.  A more efficient parking lay out will improve the flow of traffic during peak times.  The entire redesign will increase the comfort and functionality of this important and historic community asset.”  Mr. Fish is president of Sterling Custom Homes, Inc., whose previous local projects include the Manors at Waterman Village and many of the homes in The Country Club of Mount Dora, as well as subdivisions in Lake, Orange and Seminole counties.  “My associates and I are really excited to assist the Sonnentags and the IceHouse in launching this dream,” comments Mr. Fish.

J C Bowling, IceHouse President, is assisting in overseeing the plans for the remodeling project.  “The new floor plan relocates the box office to bring it just steps from the parking area, with both exterior and interior service windows for customer convenience.  Patrons will follow landscaped walkways and enter the cool, enclosed lounge area where they can get a beverage and relax before the show while visiting with friends.  Combined with an outstanding 64th Season’s line-up of comedies and musicals slated, we hope to create for our audience members, a truly wonderful and comfortable evening’s entertainment from beginning to end.  The Board extends its deepest gratitude to the Sonnentags for spearheading this extraordinary revitalization of the IceHouse property – and we encourage other generous donors in the community to step forward and lend their support, as well.”  Mr. Bowling states.

Donations toward the IceHouse 2011 Renovation can be made by mail to:The IceHouse Theatre, P.O. Box 759, Mount Dora, FL 32756; by phone (352) 383-4616, or online:   The Box Office, 1100 N. Unser Street, is open Tuesday – Friday, 1-5 pm and one hour prior to show time on performance dates.  To accommodate the renovation, June 6 – September 9, our TEMPORARY BOX OFFICE will be located at 2001 W. Old Hwy 441, Suite 4, Mount Dora, (at the corner of Morningside Drive.)  The hours and phone number will remain the same.

The 2010-2011 Season has been funded in part by the Sonnentag Foundation, The McLin Foundation, The First National Bank of Mount Dora, The Mount Dora Community Trust, Florida Hospital Waterman, Waterman Communities, the State of Florida/Division of Cultural Affairs, United Arts of Central Florida, Carpet Works, as well as by generous individual donors.

The IceHouse Theatre operates year-round, presenting a six production Mainstage season of live musicals, comedies and light dramas, as well as a thriving youth education program with school-year production workshops and a full slate of summer camps for ages 5-18 years.  The IceHouse offers opportunities for all members of the Central Florida region to participate in live theater, either on stage, back stage, as ushers, in concessions or with special fundraising events and activities.  We welcome all newcomers who wish to join the Friends of the IceHouse volunteer group, and are proud to provide cultural enrichment to the residents of our community.

2 responses to “IceHouse Theatre starts a major renovation

  1. Such a great theater and worthy of upgrading! Much success to you in the future!

  2. Very exciting to hear this! I love that theatre and it will be nice to see the new additions particularly a longe area that will be cooled for our comfort. It will also be nice to have a glass of wine at the theater. It will really add to the wonderful expereince of attending a play at the Icehouse!