Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Lincoln Theater Converts to Retail Stores

Whether you have visited South Beach or plan to visit, a walk through pedestrian Lincoln Avenue is a must. Lined with recognizable store chains (Victoria's Secret), specialty boutique shops and a myriad of restaurants with outdoor seating, Lincoln Road also hosts Art Deco buildings and is one the best places to people watch!

Today in the news, the Lincoln Theater, which currently houses the New World Symphony, will be converted to retail stores. However, as many of you know from taking my tours, the exterior Art Deco structure and decor must be preserved. Read the complete article by clicking here.

Designed by famed theater architect Thomas W. Lamb in association with Robert E. Collins, who designed the nearby Cameo Theatre, now a restaurant, the Lincoln opened in 1936.

A jewel of Art Deco architecture, with its sleek, curving shapes and intricate stylized floral reliefs on its coral-pink facade and elegantly appointed interior, the Lincoln was host to many Miami movie premieres in its long history as a movie house, but finally closed in the early 80s.

After sitting vacant for several years, the building was leased in 1988 by the New World Symphony, which was founded a year earlier by Michael Tilson Thomas. The organization was created to further develop gifted musicians for positions on orchestras all around the world.In 1990, the NWS purchased the Lincoln outright and began a nearly million-dollar renovation and restoration project.Though the exterior was restored to its original appearance, including its elaborate marquees and graceful facade, the interior was completely gutted and rebuilt. Now seating 713 in spacious, comfortable chairs, the auditorium contains a stage with over 2000 square feet of space, clear sightlines and near-perfect acoustics. Practice rooms and administrative offices take up the second, third and fourth floors of the building. Host to classical concerts, including ensemble and chamber programs, the Lincoln is one of the best venues in South Florida to hear classical music, as well as the occasional dance or world music performance, in a comfortable, modern and at the same time, historic location.

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