A late September evening of last year, I was experiencing church lady levels of religious ecstasy at a Fiona Apple concert in Miami Beach. Fiona is my spirit animal, so I was thrilled just to be in the same room with her – but part of what made the show so great was the venue: the historic Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater. With its intimate seating, beautiful chandeliers, and plush red curtains, The Fillmore is both a piece of history and a very vibrant part of Miami’s current music scene.
Alas, a plan to expand the Miami Beach Convention Center that houses The Fillmore could mean the end of this storied music venue. There are currently two companies bidding for the renovation contract, and one – Portman CMC – has proposed bulldozing the Fillmore to build a new, smaller venue that primarily houses a Cirque du Soleil show. WOMP WOMP.
This news is dismaying to many music fans – after all, The Fillmore is the only 2,700 person capacity concert or theater venue in the City Miami Beach. In fact, Sweat Records owner Lauren Reskin has been a vocal critic of the plan to demolish The Fillmore, noting in an op-ed for The Miami Herald that The Fillmore is a home for indie artists in particular. On Sweat Records’ blog, she offered several concrete tips for how to save it. She writes:
“In case you haven’t heard, here’s the situation: two companies have proposals on the table to completely renovate the Miami Beach Convention Center site.
South Beach ACE wants to preserve the Fillmore Miami Beach and make it better. Portman CMC wants to bulldoze the Fillmore and build a new, smaller venue that primarily houses a Cirque du Soleil show.
It should be clear to any music lover in South Florida, but WE CANNOT LET THIS VENUE BE TAKEN AWAY FROM US. The Miami Herald published a letter to the editor I wrote outlining the reasons why. Please read and share!
Now here’s what YOU can do:
1) Write to the Mayor of Miami Beach and the Commissioners and (politely and cordially) tell them you support preserving the Fillmore as a live music venue. Here are their email addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org. Definitely mention if you are a Miami Beach residents and/or if you are involved in the music industry and/or you just have great memories of attending shows there.
3) Mark your calendars and come out on Monday, May 13th. This is the next community meeting about the project and it’d be great to have a strong showing of support from the local music community. We’re planning more for that and will keep you posted here and via FB.