The Island Playhouse is one of the oldest buildings on Anna Maria Island. The simple frame vernacular building was once the home of William H. Gillett and was originally located in the Town of Parrish in Manatee County. In 1912, it was barged down the Manatee River in two sections to Tampa Bay and then to Anna Maria Island. In its new location, the building was first used as a tourist center by the Anna Maria Beach Development Company, which promoted the island community by offering steamship tours to prospective residents. Following the City of Anna Maria's incorporation in 1923, the building was used for city offices, church facilities, classrooms, and as a social hall for World War II soldiers. Since 1949 the building has served as the Island Playhouse, and offers theatrical productions to the community's residents and visitors.