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The Fillmore Is Saved: New Convention Center Deals Will Keep Jackie Gleason Theater

Categories: News
via Save the Fillmore

When Portman-CMC, one of two finalists for a billion-dollar Miami Beach Convention Center renovation, unveiled plans to raze the historic Jackie Gleason Theater and replace it with a hotel, residents were not shy about slamming the idea. More than 1,200 people signed on to a "Save the Fillmore" Facebook petition and flooded public meetings to argue that Miami's best mid-sized concert venue would die with the historic property.

The developers paid attention. Last night, Portman announced a new proposal to keep the Fillmore in place.

"The Miami Beach community has been very vocal in public meetings, in the media and online," Jack Portman, vice chairman of Portman Holdings, says in a statement. "We listened ... and we've found a way to adjust the master plan in order to keep the Theater in place."

Portman's remaining competitor for the convention center project, South Beach ACE, had already submitted a proposal that would have retained the Jackie Gleason Theater.

That means -- barring any major changes before the end of the bidding process in June -- that the Fillmore is saved no matter which team wins the bid.

That doesn't mean there's nothing at stake for the theater between the two bids, which picture strikingly different visions for the building where Jackie Gleason once filmed his national TV show.

ACE's proposal would involve restoring the building's historic features and creating an open-air theater behind the building. They'd build a hotel on the site of the convention center.

Portman's new plan, meanwhile, would include a partnership with Cirque du Soleil, which would create a Miami Beach-specific show and would build a "Jukari" facility where residents could learn gymnastics. LiveNation would stay on board for concerts, as well. 

They also released this rendering of changes to the facade and added access to the New World Symphony's SoundScape Park across the street:

via Portman-CMC

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Location Info

Map

The Fillmore Miami Beach

1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, FL

Category: Music


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3 comments
Dirk DeSouza
Dirk DeSouza

Hi everybody: I started the Save The Fillmore page along with my friends Darren and Lauren. It's great news that the venue isn't being knocked down, but it's also very important to remember two things about Portman's inferior plan compared to ACE. First, they propose Cirque du Soleil "sharing" the venue with Live Nation - what if this means that Cirque gets "first dibs" on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays? Do you realize the havoc that would place on major live acts trying to "fit" Miami Beach into their touring schedules? Do you know how difficult it is for bands to route their gear, crews and buses to the bottom of this peninsula and back out of the state without losing money? This "sharing" could very likely mean fewer concerts and keep your favorite bands away. Second, Cirque du Soleil is a stale, dying concept that doesn't appeal to the vast majority of EDM, Hipboth Hop, Rock and Indie fans - fans that rely upon The Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater to deliver Pretty Lights, Kendrick Lamar, Guns & Roses and The XX. Cirque du Soleil is "off brand" for Miami Beach and the bands that play here. It doesn't speak to the diversity, unexpectedness and edgy performers who would wince at playing under a marquee associated with such cheese. Cheese that belongs in Vegas or The Hard Rock in Hollywood. Not in South Beach. The Cirque permanent residence is quite simply bad for our brand.

Tommy
Tommy

@Dirk DeSouza

GET A FRICKING LIFE......THIS IS AN OLD THEATRE WITH BAD ACOUSTICS OF NO SUBSTANTIAL HISTORICAL VALUE. TEAR THE DARN THING DOWN AND BUILD SOMETHING THAT IS GOOD FOR OUR AREA IN THIS PRIME LOCATION. IT IS A PIECE OF JUNK.... NEW TIMES CALL FOR A NEW BUILDING TO FIT THOSE TIMES FOR GREAT EVENTS......

IF YOU DON'T WANT IT TOEN DOWN THEN BUY IT.....OH WAIT, YOU LIKE CONTROLLING OTHERS AND THINGS THAT DON'T BELONG TO YOU.

WHY DON'T WE MAKE YOUR HOUSE AN HISTORIC SITE AND PREVENT YOU FROM MAKING CHANGES AND BRING DOWN ITS VALUE WHEN YOU GO TO SELL IT AND SEE HOW YOU LIKE THAT!

PorkFree
PorkFree

@Dirk DeSouza agreed.   Cirque is for Vegas and touring the midwest and if the same show, mainly for tourists in this case.

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