Give It Back Rally: A Big Group Hug For the Coconut Grove Playhouse

Categories: Culture, Stage
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All photos by Laine Doss
The Coconut Grove Playhouse gets a group hug at the "give it back" rally
A cheer catchier than the material girl's new song that chants MDNA rang through the streets of Coconut Grove last evening. Calls of "Give it back, give it back" could be heard reverberating off the facade of the Coconut Grove Playhouse, which was shuttered in 2006 and left to decline ever since.

Coconut Grove residents and activists, led by Nathan Kurland, are seeking to reclaim the playhouse and reopen it again for theatrical productions.  A few weeks ago, yellow ribbons on trees and signs proclaiming "give it back" popped up all over the neighborhood. Last evening's rally was the culmination of the ribbon campaign.

Pulling out all stops for the rally, everyone from local politicians like City of Miami District 2 Commissioner Marc Sarnoff, City of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado, and Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, to adorable children and dogs were in attendance, all seeking to gain control of the playhouse.

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Brothers Lucas and Marcus Perra want you to "give it back".
Coconut Grove BID Executive Director David Collins pointed out that not only is the Playhouse culturally significant, it was a financial stimulus to the neighborhood. Collins said that within three months of the playhouse's closing, 11 restaurants failed. He then stated that the theater, if it were to be reclaimed, would be a beacon of hope for Coconut Grove, which currently has many vacant storefronts and restaurants.

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Students from local schools help engulf the playhouse in yellow ribbon.
The rally ended with a giant group hug of the building, as rally participants grabbed a piece of the 600 yards of yellow ribbon used to encircle the playhouse, chanting "give it back" before heading out to enjoy half-priced drinks at most Grove watering holes including GreenStreet and Mr. Moe's.

If reopening the Coconut Grove Playhouse means culture, economic revitalization, and happy hour -- we too say "give it back"!

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Miami's Top Gun cheerleading squad led the "give it back" chant.
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Ransom Everglades students want to "occupy the playhouse"
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Location Info


Coconut Grove Playhouse - CLOSED

3500 Main Highway, Coconut Grove, FL

Category: General

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Please note that while the attendees at this event no doubt have the greatest love for the Playhouse's comeback, unbeknownst to them, the group's behind-the-scenes organizers, most notably City Commissioner Marc Sarnoff, have publicly stated their desire to tear down most of this historic building leaving only a token facade, part of the east wall, remaining. They want to develop the property with more of the overcommercialized overkill that has turned this once unique eccentric enclave into Coconut Grave. Their plans for the theatre are to reduce it to one-quarter of its original size, leaving it with a 300 seat theatre space. The rest will be condos and retail. If you want true Playhouse Preservation, visit Save the Coconut Grove Playhouse on facebook at and become informed on how you can help keep this vital part of our history from becoming history. or email

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