OLYMPIA THEATER / by Eric Monteiro

The Olympia Theater is a jewel in the urban cityscape of Downtown Miami. This historical performing arts center was built in 1926 as a silent movie palace replete with golden balconies and a simulated night sky with twinkling stars and drifting clouds. It was also famous for being the first air-conditioned building in the South.

Some of the world’s most exciting performers have taken to the stage at the olympia Theater, including Elvis Presley, Etta James, B.B. King and Luciano Pavarotti. The Olympia continues to be a venue for today’s most famous pop stars.

Renowned architect, Morris Lapidus, who designed the Fontainebleau, the Eden Roc and Lincoln Rd, managed renovations of the theater in the 1970s, paid for by South Florida tycoon and philanthropist, Maurice Gusman. The Olympia was named to the national register of Historic Places in 1984.