Then & Now

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Posted August 6, 2021 | Ocala Gazette Staff

The Marion Theatre is shown in 1970 during the final years of its original run as a movie house. The theatre opened in 1941 and operated until the 1970s. It sat empty for years until it was donated to the City of Ocala in 1986. Through much of the 1990s, it served as the home of the Discovery Science Center. During the renovation, however, the theatre seats were removed, and the floor leveled. [Florida State Archives]

The building is shown in July 2021 and is again a theatre. In the early 2000s, an effort started to return the building to its original use. The theatre received a $1.3 million renovation and reopened in the late 2000s. In 2020, the then operator ended their contract early in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Reilly Arts Center took over and now shows classic movies and hosts live events. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette]

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