Frank and Fran Hilgenberg didn’t plan on celebrating Theatre Downtown’s 25thanniversary this way.
The husband-and-wife team behind Orlando’s most iconic community theater is packing up a quarter-century’s worth of props, costumes and equipment while looking for a new venue.
“I’m trying to keep from crying when people walk in because they’re coming in with tears streaming down their face,” said Frank Hilgenberg, 65. “That place was a special, magical place.”
Theatre Downtown’s landlord, Florida Hospital, told the troupe last summer that it would have to leave the Ivanhoe Village location at the end of the year. The hospital has not announced its plans for the high-traffic site at Orange Avenue and Princeton Street.
Instead of reflecting on the theater’s storied history, Frank Hilgenberg is working out how to move to a new location.