Florida - Music and Performing Arts
When black entrepreneur Geder Walker built the Lyric Theater—a vaudeville stage and movie theater—in 1913, he had no idea that the establishment would become the entertainment center for African Americans in Miami and the surrounding areas. Residing in the district of "Little Broadway," the Lyric has ushered many prominent musicians through its doors, such as Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, B.B. King, Patti LaBelle and Ella Fitzgerald. The Lyric closed in the 1960s due to economic difficulties, but was reopened after an extensive restoration that was completed in 2000, making it the oldest running theater in Miami.
In the quaint town of Apalachicola in northwest Florida, the restored Dixie Theatre is a beloved gathering place. Opened in 1913, the theatre was a live entertainment venue. With the birth of celluloid, the Dixie became a motion picture house though it occasionally moonlighted live events. The theatre, which closed in 1967, was completely reconstructed in 1997 to replicate the original site's architecture. Open for business ever since, this small town theatre has returned to delivering live events in the town's historic district.