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Orlando Weekly 25th Anniversary- A Look Back

Image: Orlando Weekly 25th Anniversary logo, orlandoweekly.com
Image: Orlando Weekly 25th Anniversary logo, orlandoweekly.com

25 years ago, Orlando was a different city – there was no Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center or Amway Center, Universal Orlando was just opening its doors to tourists and Orlando Weekly was just launching as The Weekly, a home-delivered weekly publication owned by the Toronto Sun.

As the years have passed, we’ve seen a lot of change in the City Beautiful. Our downtown may not have the edgy outsider vibe that it used to, but it does attract what Mayor Buddy Dyer calls “world-class” performing arts. Dyer has realized the dream of having a performing arts center across from City Hall – a dream that originated with his predecessor Mayor Glenda Hood. And The Weekly has graduated to become Orlando Weekly, a magazine-format publication that covers news, food, arts, music and events online and in print.

On Dec. 9, Orlando Weekly publishes its 25th anniversary issue, and in it we’ll be reliving not only our greatest hits, but also some of the best (and worst) moments in Orlando history. Remember, for instance, when Orlando could boast that it was the origin point for both Backstreet Boys and NSync? Then remember how Ponzi-scheme-operator slash record label exec Lou Perlman found himself in hot water for the questionable business practices that helped launch those bands to the top?

Remember how former Orlando Mayor Glenda Hood was heavily criticized for creating a bland, sanitized downtown that wasn’t welcoming to the homeless and for spending too much money exploring the potential for new venues around downtown?

Funny – we’re still arguing those points all these years later. Pick up this week’s issue for a blast from the past.