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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Hundreds came out in support of Grove Playhouse

On April 2, 2012, we had a "Give it Back" event for the Playhouse. It's now six and a half years later and it's still in limbo. It was closed six years when the Take it Back event happened

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It was estimated that 500 people showed up late Monday afternoon for the "Give It Back" rally, in support of the Coconut Grove Playhouse. After six years of being shuttered, the villagers of Coconut Grove feel that enough is enough and they demand that the Playhouse reopen in some way, shape or form. Local politicians, actor, Andy Garcia and so many neighbors showed up in support of the campaign.

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A large yellow ribbon came out at the end of the rally and the playhouse was literally wrapped in the yellow. Cheerleaders from a local school lead the hundreds in cheers and children did their part, for instance, brothers Lucas and Marcus Perra, sang "God Bless America," on the temporary stage set up in the back parking lot of the Playhouse.

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Nathan Kurland, leader of the crusade, spoke and then emceed the few speakers who spoke for a few minutes each.

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Miami historian, Arva Moore Parks spoke on the behalf of the playhouse through the history that she knows. She spoke of various people who were there at the beginning. One, named Estelle Overstreet, a Grove pioneer, born in 1909, claims that fresh water sand was used to build the old 1927 building and apparently fresh water sand is very sound. In Arva's words, the building is "salvageable." She said, "The theater needs to be restored, the theater needs to be opened. Give it back!"

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David Collins, BID director said that right after the Playhouse closed, 11 restaurants in the area, closed right away, and some in the audience snickered and said coincidentally, the 3 am bar closing time came into affect, too. But no matter, you can't deny that the Playhouse as a large economic engine for the Grove. In fact, yesterday's rally was proof. Right after the rally, all the restaurants and bars in the vacinity were mobbed with people from the rally having dinner and drinks (I had the lobster at Calamari). So the economic engine was thriving last night due to the Playhouse.

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Earlier in the day, a letter went out by Clay Smallwood, Director of Division of State Lands, requesting that County Mayor Carlos Giminez turn over the Playhouse to the Board of Trustees. More on that later. In the meantime, the partying went on into the night. The big yellow ribbon first was marched down toward Greenstreets at Main Highway and Commodore Plaza, the crowd turned up Commodore and went around the block, back into the Playhouse parking lot to end the rally.

Lots more pictures of today's events here on Facebook.

Latest Playhouse News: Waivers discussed; state to seize playhouse?

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5 Comments:

Anonymous David said...

Hi Tom, when you say you had lobster at calamari are you talking about the new Casa Blanca where calamari used to be? I have been waiting for that to open for some time but am never over that way. I was giving up hope for it. Love the blog, keep up the good work!
David

September 12, 2018 8:27 AM  
Anonymous Jack said...

If the Playhouse had remained open I doubt we would have that monster office building being constructed next to Greenstreets. I miss Calamari, Tuscany, Senior Frogs Etc. We always thought of that area as the adult end of Main Hwy and Cocowalk for the younger generation.

September 12, 2018 8:39 AM  
Blogger Grapevine said...

David, this story is a re-run from 2012, so the lobster was at Calamari, which was still open at the time.

September 12, 2018 8:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Six years ago! This is a testament to the state of local democratic institutions and power of developers and lobbyists to subvert it.

September 12, 2018 11:44 AM  
Blogger Tony Scornavacca Jr. said...

Wow, 6.5 years! Nathan did a great job that day, rallying the folks. If only our local government was not so inept.

September 18, 2018 3:36 PM  

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