Orlando Weekly turns 25 – here's a blast from the past



This year, Orlando Weekly turns 25. We're old enough to rent a car, and if we were a college student, we'd only be able to stay on our parents insurance for one more year. 

The origin story goes something like this: 

In 1989, the Toronto Sun Publishing Corp. purchased a group of local publications, including the Orange Shopper. In 1990, it rebranded the Orange Shopper as the Weekly – a tabloid publication the Orlando Sentinel called at the time "a middle of the road newspaper with features and entertainment news." The Weekly had a circulation of 175,000 and was home delivered – that is, tossed into driveways and front yards around Orange and Seminole Counties.

In 1994, the publication was purchased by Alternative Media Inc. which relaunched it in 1995 as a bonafide alt-weekly with a progressive bent." it was also renamed Orlando Weekly. In 1999, we were purchased by Times Shamrock Communications, along with our sister alt-weeklies the San Antonio Current and Detroit Metro Times. In 2013, we were purchased by our current owners, Euclid Media Group, which today owns Orlando Weekly, the San Antonio Current, Detroit Metro Times, Cleveland Scene and the Riverfront Times in St. Louis, Missouri. 

For the next few months, we'll celebrate being part of Orlando culture for a quarter of a century by sharing with you some of our favorite stories, photos and cover illustrations from the past. Today, we revisit this week in 1997, when then-editor Jeff Truesdell wrote about Orlando's bizarre fear of the rave scene, which drove rave and electronic music festivals from the City Beautiful into the wilds of Polk County. We also had a story from Lawrence Budd about the Orlando Sanford Airport's war with some local eagles, which were nesting too close to the airport and deemed a hazard. 

The cover of the Aug. 28-Sept. 3, 1997 issue of Orlando Weekly
  • The cover of the Aug. 28-Sept. 3, 1997 issue of Orlando Weekly