Miracle Theatre earns chamber’s award for historic preservation

Pictured at the award presentation are (l-r, back row) Actors’ Playhouse founding chair Dr. Lawrence E. Stein, former Coral Gables Mayor Don Slesnick, Actors’ Playhouse executive producing director Barbara S. Stein, president and CEO of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce Mark A. Trowbridge, (front row) René I. Basulto of Basulto & Associates Inc, Douglas Wood of Douglas Wood Associates Inc., Actors’ Playhouse artistic director David Arisco, former Coral Gables Mayor Dorothy Thompson, chair of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce Drew Kern, Jeannett Slesnick of Slesnick & Jochem LLP, John P. Fullerton of Fullerton Diaz Architects, and Coral Gables city manager Pat Salerno. (Photo by Alberto Romeu Photography)

Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre is the proud recipient of this year’s City Beautiful Award for Outstanding Historic Preservation, presented by the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce.

The City Beautiful Awards celebrate the most outstanding examples of architectural achievement among commercial properties in Coral Gables. Actors’ Playhouse was honored with the award at the Good Morning Coral Gables Breakfast on Thursday, Aug. 16.

In 1995, under the stewardship of founding chair Dr. Lawrence E. Stein and executive producing director Barbara S. Stein, Actors’ Playhouse’s board of directors entered into a partnership with the City of Coral Gables to renovate and restore the historic Miracle Theatre at 280 Miracle Mile, transforming the Art Deco movie house into a three-stage performing arts center and the company’s new home in an $8 million debt-free project.

In exchange for free rent under a 45-year lease, Actors’ Playhouse bears full responsibility for operating the city-owned facility, managing all programs, and raising funds for operations and capital improvements. The capital project was coordinated by artistic director David Arisco, with John P. Fullerton as the lead architect, and assistance from René I. Basulto and Douglas Wood.

“Actors’ Playhouse is thrilled to be part of a model private/public partnership with the city of Coral Gables, owner of the Miracle Theatre, and to have renovated and restored the historic facility into a three-stage perforating arts center in downtown Coral Gables,” Dr. Stein said. “One of Miami-Dade County’s 22 major cultural institutions, and the producer of awardwinning theater for adults and children, the rebirth of the Miracle Theatre in 1995 saved the historic site from being sold to big-box retail and was the major catalyst for the redevelopment of the downtown district.”

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