Olympia Theater and Office Building
The Olympia Theater and Office Building (also known as the Maurice Gusman Cultural Center) is a historic theater
Theater (structure)
A theater or theatre is a structure where theatrical works or plays are performed or other performances such as musical concerts may be produced. While a theater is not required for performance , a theater serves to define the performance and audience spaces...

 in Miami
Miami, Florida
Miami is a city located on the Atlantic coast in southeastern Florida and the county seat of Miami-Dade County, the most populous county in Florida and the eighth-most populous county in the United States with a population of 2,500,625...

, Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

. It is located at 174 East Flagler Street. The original architect was theatre designer John Eberson
John Eberson
John Eberson was an American architect best known for his movie palace designs in the atmospheric theatre fashion.Born in Czernowitz, Austro-Hungarian Empire , Eberson went to highschool in Dresden and studied electrical engineering in Vienna. He arrived in the United States in 1901 and at first...

, in his 'atmospheric' style, and extensive renovations in the 1970s were overseen by architect Morris Lapidus
Morris Lapidus
Morris Lapidus was the architect of Neo-baroque Miami Modern hotels that has since come to define the 1950s resort-hotel style synonymous with Miami and Miami Beach....


On March 8, 1984, it was added to the U.S.
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 National Register of Historic Places
National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation...



Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center for Performing Arts
Miami’s Beloved Cultural Center Since 1926

Tucked into Miami’s contemporary skyline is an enchanting Mediterranean courtyard with shimmering stars and golden balconies. Majestic turrets and towers suggest another era when performances were events, and grand theaters provided a dreamlike escape from the modern world.

The Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts is not just a “venue” – is the jewel of South Florida arts and entertainment facilities, affording South Florida’s diverse community and its international guests a unique cultural experience that defies comparison.

The Olympia Theater opened in 1926 as a silent movie palace and amazed the public with its stunning Moorish architecture, perfect acoustics and simulated night sky, complete with wafting clouds and twinkling stars. It also achieved fame as the first air-conditioned building in the South.

The “talkies” and Vaudeville soon arrived at the Olympia, and for more than 40 years the theater was the number one entertainment center in Miami. It was one of the last theaters in the country to showcase Vaudeville acts.

Throughout its history, the Olympia – now better known as the Gusman Center – has been host to the world’s most exciting performers in the arts and entertainment community. Cultural icons such as Elvis Presley, B.B. King, Luciano Pavarotti and Etta James have provided memorable evenings under the Gusman Center’s stars. The theater has also hosted today’s best-known pop stars and is a favored venue for MTV concerts.

By the late 1990s virtually every structural system of the theater was in need of repair and replacement. The roof had several leaks that had damaged the theater’s historic paint and plaster as well as the seating and carpeting in the auditorium. The HVAC system had to be entirely replaced. Electrical, sound systems, and plumbing all required upgrades. Today, as the restoration work nears completion, Miami’s most beloved cultural venue has retained its stature in a downtown that continues its own transformation. High-rise office buildings and glittering luxury condominiums have replaced many of the theater’s aging neighbors. Downtown Miami is once again becoming a place to live, work, shop and play, and the Gusman Center is at the heart of the action – just as it was in 1926.
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