Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Sunrise opened its doors on August 1, 1923 as the largest theatre on Florida's East Coast between Jacksonville and Miami. It quickly became the center of all St. Lucie County's cultural activities. The theatre closed its doors on September 8, 1983 , due to the decline of the downtown area and a refusal to convert to multi-screen operation. In 1988, Main Street Fort Pierce was established and soon realized the need for the Sunrise Theatre as a center for local, national and international world class performing arts presentations.
Main Street Fort Pierce began an effort to save the historic theatre. In 1997, the Sunrise Theatre was purchased by the St. Lucie Preservation Association, Inc. and today, after reopening on January 6, 2006, the theatre is completely renovated to its original splendor with state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems and is owned and operated by the City of Fort Pierce.