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The only place for Coconut Grove, FL News, Views & Opinions - Sunlight is the best disinfectant

Monday, July 31, 2017

People don't seem to like the new Playhouse plans

The story I did on the new Coconut Grove Playhouse plans seemed to have opened a can of worms according to all the Facebook comments. I liked these plans better than the previous County's plans, but apparently, people are still down on the idea because they want the whole Playhouse to be restored and they don't like the boxy-ness of the parking garage and other areas. 

I am torn because I know a new theater would be state-of-the-art and probably be the way to go, but I think people are so sick of the destruction around the Grove that in this case they are trying to make a stand, which is very much tied into their memories and experiences that they had at the Playhouse over the years. And in the news, we see so many theaters around the country that are just as old as the Grove Playhouse that have been restored to their original glory.

People are calling the new plans nothing more than a big box with the salvaged "wings/eyebrow" in front of it, But aside from the interior and the history of the Playhouse as it stands now, isn't that what is there now - the wings fronting a big box? I mean aside from the wings area and facade, it's one big box - with many memories and lots of history, I get that.

In a perfect world, I would say, rebuild what is there, forget all the bells and whistles with green space and retail and this and that. Just make the building work as it had for 80 years, before and during the time it was a playhouse. And I wonder so many times, why can other theaters be restored to their former glory, I have often mentioned that I attend plays in New York in theaters that have been standing for 100 years or more (I was recently at a performance at the Cort Theatre, opened in 1912 and also the Lyceum Theatre, opened in 1903, both operating today) and so many others have been restored from near destruction, even with the Gusman here in Miami, restoration works. But we never do get a clear answer as to why the Playhouse is not in that same category of being able to be restored to its original self.

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