The landmark Colony Theatre at 1040 Lincoln Road in Miami Beach opened January 25, 1935, and was built for the Paramount chain. It was listed in 1950 with a seating capacity of 894. It was a superb example of the Art Deco style, and one of the city’s most well-known examples of that style of architecture. During World War II, Miami Beach became one of the largest centers and officer schools for soldiers. At the time, the Colony Theatre was used to show informative movies about health, training and news to the young GI’s.
After decades serving as a movie house, the Colony Theatre was renovated in 1976 for performing arts making it into a 417 seat state of the art venue. Decades later, it came into ownership of the City of Miami Beach. The building subsequently underwent a three year $6.5 million renovation through a grant from Save America’s Treasures. The original Art Deco grandeur was restored, while updating its stage and technical equipment. In October 2016, the theatre’s Artistic Director and his team received the keys to the renovated Colony building. They established their mission and future of the theatre to do work that is diverse, multicultural and multilingual, while at the same time having to do with issues in the community. It currently hosts plays, concerts, dance performances, operas, comedy acts and movie premieres.
Shown is a vintage black and white photograph of WWII military visiting the theater, vintage photo and theater ad courtesy of cinematreasures.org and a current day photo.