Dear Mayor Matti Bower and Miami Beach City Commissioners:
I ask The City of Miami Beach to reject any proposal which results in the demolition of The Fillmore Jackie Gleason Theater. A Miami Beach landmark since 1964, this theater plays a current, vital role in the historical, cultural, musical programming, and architectural landscape which makes our city unique.
The Miami Beach Convention Center's proposed expansion, and integration of a new hotel, need not result in the theater's destruction. If a hotel component is imminent, Arquitectonica, the architecture firm, and The Convention Center Expansion Steering Committee, have identified and pre-designed a North Site hotel footprint nestled within a proposed vast, lush parkland which would be as ideally suited.
Utilizing this NORTH SITE would:
a) eliminate the demolition of the Jackie Gleason
b) preserve Live Nation's Jackie Gleason revenue stream to the City
c) generate the exact same lodging / tourism tax revenues for The City of Miami Beach by the proposed Convention Center Hotel as the South Site
d) provide better, traffic-relieving access to Dade Boulevard, onward to Alton Road and therefore Interstates I-195 and I-95
e) provide conventioneers better access to the beach (ie: parking / walking via 22nd Street ocean access), The Bass Museum grounds, The Miami City Ballet facility, Collins Park, and The Miami Beach Golf Club and bountiful nightlife in the 23rd to 19th Street corridor.
Further, it is untrue that musical programming at The Fillmore Jackie Gleason could be replicated elsewhere on Miami Beach should the theater be demolished. There are no other 2,700 seat, modern venues on Miami Beach acceptable to national touring acts - not the Colony Theater, not the eminent New World Symphony venue, and the Lincoln Theater is being shuttered for conversion to retail shops. Losing the Fillmore Jackie Gleason would eliminate Miami Beach's ability to attract vital musical and stage acts commensurate with Miami Beach's reputation as an entertainment mecca with local flair. In fact, it would kill it.
I do not oppose Convention Center expansion, only the demolition of the Fillmore Jackie Gleason Theater. Vote NO on the demolition of this theater.