By: Kara Franker
Tour Miami's historic theaters and state-of-the-art performance venues.
Providing more than just an average stage performance, these entertainment venues in Miami showcase distinctive historic character and unique modern architecture.
Dating back to 1913, Overtown’s 400-seat Lyric Theater has been a source of pride and culture in Miami for more than 100 years. Serving the community as a movie and vaudeville theater for almost fifty years, the Lyric Theater was acquired by The Black Archives, History and Research Foundation of South Florida in 1988. Now renamed the Black Archives Historic Lyric Theater Welcome Center Complex, the theater is undergoing a significant re-imagination to once again become a symbol of black economic influence. Located at 819 NW 2nd Avenue, Miami.
Located in the heart of Downtown, the Olympia Theater at Gusman Center for the Performing Arts first opened in 1926 as a silent movie house. One of it’s most distinctive characteristics is the simulated night sky on the ceiling coupled with stunning Moorish architecture. As time went on, some of the most exciting acts of the age graced the stage including superstars like Elvis Presley, B.B. King, Luciano Pavarotti and Etta James. As an ambitious restoration project continues, the theater continues to host a free Wednesday night lobby lounge series with live music. Located at 174 E. Flagler Street, Miami.
Showcasing decades of popular performers like Frank Sinatra, The Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater’s history began in 1950. Back then it was known as The Miami Beach Municipal Auditorium, but was renamed in the 1970s after a renovation by one of Miami’s most beloved architects, Morris Lapidus. Today the theater is operated by Live Nation and hosts some of the biggest names in live entertainment. Located at 1700 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach.
Visible on the Downtown Miami waterfront, the iconic AmericanAirlines Arena is not only home to the Miami HEAT, it also hosts today’s biggest international pop stars like Madonna, Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber. Designed by Arquitectonica, the arena opened in 1999 with an inaugural concert by local superstar Gloria Estefan. Located at 601 Biscayne Blvd, Miami.
Hosting more than 300 performances a year ranging from Broadway-style plays to elegant ballets, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County opened in 2006. Including the Ziff Ballet Opera House (2,400 seats), John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall (2,200 seats), Carinval Studio Theater (up to 300 seats) and more, the complex was designed by architect Cesar Pelli and is a stunning structure situated in the heart of Downtown. Located at 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami.
Opened in 2011, the extraordinary New World Center on Miami Beach was designed by Frank Gehry in close collaboration with the New World Symphony’s founder and artistic director Michael Tilson Thomas. Acoustically reflective sails envelope the performance hall providing the audience with a technologically sophisticated sound and video experience. Adjacent to the structure, the Miami Beach SoundScape, is a popular outdoor venue where the public can experience orchestra performances via video projection or catch one of the free weekly movies. Located at 500 17th Street, Miami Beach.
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