The Real Deal Miami

Historic theater to be spared from demolition

April 24, 2013 11:00AM

Fillmore Miami Beach theater

A historic Miami Beach theater will be spared from demolition after a developer in the running for a $1 billion remodeling project bowed to protesters, the Miami Herald reported.

The Fillmore Miami Beach theater, built in 1957 and made famous when Jackie Gleason broadcast his TV variety show there in the 1960s, was named for for the performer shortly after his death in 1987. The eponymous blue-and-white structure was renovated in 2007, and as a result, preservationists can’t seek a historic designation that would protect it from the wrecking ball.

The city plans to choose a winning bidder for a 52-acre, $1 billion project to redesign its convention center and build up the surrounding area in June, according to the Herald.

One of two teams vying for the project, Developer Portman-CMC had, until recently, proposed demolishing the theater and replacing it with a convention center hotel. Public condemnation was fierce. Competing team South Beach ACE has also proposed keeping the theater.

The site of the 1964 Muhammad Ali vs. Sonny Liston boxing match, the center also hosted three national political conventions, in 1968 and 1972, and in recent years, has become a major venue for live music. [Miami Herald]Emily Schmall