Fillmore Fans Hit Facebook

A proposal to demolish the Fillmore Miami Beach At Jackie Gleason Theater has spurred outrage from thousands of fans of the venue, who’ve taken to Facebook to voice their complaints.

The city has been flirting with the idea of expanding and renovating the Miami Beach Convention Center and one part of the plan could include razing the Fillmore to make way for a hotel.

A “Save the Fillmore” Facebook group page, which had attracted more than 6,300 members at press time, has called for locals to voice their opinions to city officials.

“Miami Beach needs this historic theatre to keep quality live acts coming to Miami,” the page states. “Live Nation has done a great job in recent years bringing down fantastic national touring acts. Please help save this theatre!”

Live Nation has indicated that it would be willing to discuss plans to demolish the theatre. The building underwent a $3.5 million renovation when Live Nation took over management duties in 2007.

While the building’s storied past includes playing home to “The Jackie Gleason Show” during the ’60s and ’70s, the city’s head of historic preservation told the Miami Herald the Fillmore does not, in fact, qualify as a historic venue.

Upgrades significantly changed the venue from its 1950 construction, William Cary said, enough so that the building no longer warrants historic protection.

Nonetheless, many still see the theatre as a cherished landmark in the city.

“Maybe it’s not historic but it’s certainly iconic,” commissioner Deede Weithorn told the paper.

A community meeting to discuss the convention center plan is set for May 13.