Welcome to Ruth Eckerd Hall:
- Located In: Pinellas County
- Address: 1111 N. McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater
- Box Office Phone: 727-791-7400
- Alternate Box Office Phone: (800) 875-8682 (outside Pinellas and Hillsborough counties)
- Seating Capacity: 2,180
History of Ruth Eckerd Hall:
The history of Ruth Eckerd Hall at the Richard B. Baumgardner Center for the Performing Arts began in November 1977 when June Baumgardner Gelbart donated a 38-acre parcel of land to Clearwater. Given in honor of Richard B. Baumgardner Sr., the gift included the stipulation that the land be used for a performing arts center.
The groundbreaking ceremony took place on Dec. 15, 1979. Less than four years later, with construction complete, the Suzuki Children of Japan present venue’s first official performance on Oct. 16, 1983.
Facilities Within Ruth Eckerd Hall:
- Ruth Eckerd Hall – The venue hosts concerts, recitals, plays and special events.
- The Dimmitt Family Atrium Lounge – This facility is available for pre-show parties or private meetings.
- The Margarete Heye Great Room – The great room accommodates 400 for a wide variety of events.
- The Marcia P. Hoffman Performaning Arts Institute – Housing the center’s educational programs, the facility boasts multi-functional classrooms, rehearsal space, a dance studio, recording lab and media center.
- The Murray Studio Theater – Seating 200, the intimate venue is perfect for recitals, family programming, classes and special events.
Nearby Dining Options :
Enjoying a Performance at Ruth Eckerd Hall:
Ruth Eckerd Hall at the Richard B. Baumgardner Center for the Performing Arts, designed by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, is regarded as an acoustically perfect auditorium. Having celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2008, the hall continues to present a stellar lineup of more than 200 performances a year featuring artists from America and around the world. Performances range from rock, pop and jazz to classical, opera and Broadway.
Among the hundreds of artists who have performed at Ruth Eckerd Hall are:
- Anita Baker
- Anne Murray
- B.B. King
- Dave Koz
- Don Rickles
- Itzhak Perlman
- Jethro Tull
- Joan Rivers
- Earth, Wind and Fire
- Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons
- Gipsy Kings
- Irish Rovers
- k.d. lang
- Sheryl Crow
- State Symphony of Russia
- Tokyo String Quartet
- Yamato Drummers of Japan
The hall has earned many distinctions. In 2002, it was nominated for Pollstar’s Theater of the Year Award. In 2005, Pollstar named Ruth Eckerd Hall No. 1 in ticket sales in the Southeast for theaters with 2,500 seats or less. In April 2007, the venue was ranked ninth in the first quarter of 2007 in ticket sales according to Pollstar; in July of the same year, Ruth Eckerd Hall ranked eighth in the world for total tickets sold by Pollstar and in December, the hall was ranked seventh in the world for gross ticket sales by Billboard Magazine.
Ruth Eckerd Hall enjoyed continued success in 2008:
- In April, Pollstar ranked Ruth Eckerd Hall sixth in ticket sales among theaters with 5,000 or fewer seats in the world for the first quarter of 2008
- In July, Billboard Magazine ranked Ruth Eckerd Hall No. 1 in ticket sales and gross dollars for venues with 2,500 seats for the period from November 2007 to May 2008
- In December, Pollstar announced the nomination of Ruth Eckerd Hall for a 2008 Pollstar Concert Industry Award in the category of Theatre of the Year; the facility is nominated along with prestigious venues including Beacon Theatre in New York, Chicago Theatre in Chicago, Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Nokia Theatre in L.A. Live in Los Angeles, Radio City Music Hall in New York and Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.
As stated on its website, the mission of Ruth Eckerd Hall Inc. is to “present the finest in the performing arts and provide performing arts education, making each available to all segments of the community.”