Mahaffey Theater is a concert hall located in St. Petersburg, Florida. The facility first opened in May, 1965.It is one of the prime venues for the Florida Orchestra and hosts traveling Broadway shows. The theater lobby overlooks Tampa Bay through a three-story glass wall.The Mahaffey Theater Foundation for the Performing Arts, a charity associated with the theater, provides education and support for young people in the performing arts.
The theater was the site of the 1996 vice presidential debate between Al Gore and Jack Kemp.
In 2003, Mahaffey hosted 234 performances that drew 169,000 paid visitors. In addition to the Florida Orchestra's performances, its top-grossing productions were Riverdance, which appeared for five days, drew an audience of 5,931 and produced a net revenue of $18,884, and the three-day Miss Florida Pageant, which brought in 2,661 people and netted $11,043. Elvis' Birthday Bash came in fifth with 1,280 in the audience and $5,183 in revenues.
In 2005, Mahaffey Theater, "the city's pre-eminent performing arts venue,"underwent a $20-million renovation.The city-owned, 2,030-seat theater is managed by Philadelphia-based SMG, a theater management company.
In 2007, Mahaffey was scheduled to host the September 17 nationally televised presidential Republican Party primary debate, but the majority of candidates had scheduling issues and could not attend.Instead, the debate at Mahaffey took place on November 28, 2007.,