Seminole Cultural Arts Theatre
18 N. Krome Avenue,
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Seminole Cultural Arts Theatre (Official)
Architects: Roy A. Benjamin
Functions: Performing Arts
Styles: Streamline Moderne
Previous Names: Seminole Theatre, Premier Theatre
Originally opened in 1921, the 500-seat Seminole Theatre on Krome Avenue was built for Henry Booker, Sr. and James Washington English for movies and live entertainment. The theatre was heavily damaged in a 1940 fire, leaving little more than a blackened shell.
Prolific theatre architect Roy A. Benjamin was hired to rebuild the Seminole Theatre, which he designed in Streamline Moderne style. The cost of the movie theatre’s reconstruction was around $50,000. It reopened in fall of 1940 as a 500-seat movie theatre. In addition to movies, the Seminole Theatre continued to host live entertainment, as well as beauty contests and cooking demonstrations. In the early-1970’s, the Seminole Theatre was renamed the Premier Theatre and began to show Spanish-language movies. It closed in 1979 due to declining attendance.
For years, the theatre sat vacant and fell into disrepair. In 1992, when Hurricane Andrew hit the Homestead area, the Seminole Theatre was not spared, and though its walls stood, the roof was torn off and the theatre’s interior suffered serious damage. In 1993, the Seminole Theatre’s owners donated the battered theatre to the city, which designed it a local historic site two years later, the sole remaining example of Art Moderne style in all Dade County.
The Seminole Theatre Group was organized in 1997 with the intention of restoring the theatre as a performing arts venue serving the Homestead and Dade County region. It cost about $4.2 million to bring the old Seminole Theatre back to life. The Seminole Theatre was reopened October 28, 2015.
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