Don’t tear down history

It seems that officials in the city of Miami Beach are forfeiting their history for big development.

Last week, The Miami Herald reported that city officials will be holding a community forum on May 13 at 6 p.m. to discuss the destruction of the Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater.

In its place: a hotel that would serve as an extension to the Miami Beach Convention Center.

Instead of turning the north side of the convention center into a potential hotel site, city leaders and members “believe the southern location would be more attractive.”

The article mentions how this plan is still in its beginning steps. It still needs the approval from both the city commission and the county commission.

Seeing the destruction of the theater would be a travesty for Miami Beach’s culture.

It was renamed in 1987 in honor of Jackie Gleason, a famous comedian, actor and musician. He hosted numerous episodes of “The Jackie Gleason Show” at the theater after he moved to Florida.

The notoriety that the theater has brought to the city of Miami Beach is invaluable. The theater has hosted a number of major artists and performers and has recently underwent a superb renovation in 2007 that has attracted very prominent performers.

Major events like the South Beach Comedy Festival regularly use the theater as a location for its comedians. Stand up comedians such as Jon Stewart and Jim Gaffigan have performed at this venue.

Not only do comedians perform the Fillmore, but Broadway productions, electric concerts and dance shows take place there too. This summer, the venue is expecting performances from popular musicians such as Imogen Heap, Passion Pit and 50 Cent.

Miami Beach City Manager Jorge Gonzalez stated that the location of the theater is preferable because it’s a block from Lincoln Road and other Miami Beach points of interest.

We can only hope that Gonzalez and the city commission receive a stifling opposition at the community forum in May.

It seems illogical to us that one of Miami Beach’s most famous tourist locations would be under threat, of all things, by a hotel. Isn’t Miami Beach riddled with those things?

Join the Facebook group “Save the Fillmore at Jackie Gleason Theater.”

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial staff.