The Olympia Theater at Gusman Center, once known as the Olympia Theater, in downtown Miami is one of the most valuable and historic relics we have and it has to be preserved by all means.
A recent, instructive tour of the Olympia Theater at Gusman Center conducted by Robert Geitner, the executive director, was excellent in showing us the whole theater and its most intrinsic views. He showed us almost every corner of the building, including the back stage and the mechanics it takes for a good artistic presentation.
One can easily observe art from England, France, Italy and Spain that features animals, faces of demons, and angels. The combination of colors is superb and pleasant. The balconies around the sides are perfectly rendered and the magnificent organ and how it was placed in such a high position is outstanding. The illuminations provided for the stage and the public have been planned with accuracy.
Morris Lapidus renovated, expanded and designed the required modifications without disturbing the character of the theater that is small as compared with similar ones, but offers comfort.
The county and the state must be more generous and provide the required funds to maintain such an architectural jewel in good condition.
The idea of replacing it with one more piece of concrete, as high as possible, is primitive and abusive for the simple reason that there are buildings that are not replaceable and that must be preserved for the future and culture of coming generations.
There is one negative factor that is affecting the theater, and that is it’s location.
Some consider downtown Miami a place that is not to be visited. But it offers stores with excellent prices, has many restaurants and an attractive variety of places to enjoy.
However, there are unwanted characters who will make some people reluctant to visit.
The Gusman Theater is a superb piece of artistic architecture that can be compared with the best of the world. Miamians and visitors must make an effort to visit it so that we can conserve the splendid architectural beauty and oppose the wanton destruction of it.