Architects Design Group was selected for The Discovery Science Center of Central Florida – Marion Theatre project from a national field of architectural consultants. This project required the historic restoration of the circa 1950 art deco style Marion Theater and its adaptive reuse as a regional Children’s Science Center. The Marion Theater, from it’s inception, has been a critical element in downtown Ocala. This project served as the catalyst for a comprehensive historic downtown revitalization. ADG was selected for this project because of our depth of experience in historic restoration and science center design.
The existing Marion Theater presented a unique challenge in it’s adaptive reuse as a science center. Typical of most theaters of the era, the floor elevation rises from the stage area to the entrance. One third of the floor area is covered by a balcony which has steps up to a third level. The remaining two-thirds of the interior has a 30′ ceiling height. ADG, in preliminary design phase, used this unique configuration to the advantage of the Science Center by utilizing multi-level exhibit areas.