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Miami Through its Spanish Performing Arts Spaces

Lillian Manzor, Author

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Teatro Radio Centro Music Hall

The original building was an art deco theater built in the 1920s. In 1953, Oscar Ramírez opened it as Teatro Flagler. It was the first theater in Miami to show Spanish movies. On November 20, 1955, Fidel Castro spoke here collecting hundreds of dollars for the Revolution-to-come. He gave an interview to The Miami Herald in order to promote the rally at this theater: ''A young Cuban revolutionary is in Miami making plans to topple the government of Fulgencio Batista." But the only newspaper covering the event was Diario Las Américas who sent photographer Wilfredo Gort to cover it.FN

In the early 1960s, the theater was renamed Teatro Radio Centro Music Hall. It continued to show double feature films in Spanish with actors presenting vernacular skits during the intermission.  Nestor Cabell in this interview for the Luis J. Botifoll Oral History Project  (38:35 - 39:33] reminisces about the shows that were performed at Teatro Radio Centro with Leopoldo Fernández and Alberto Piñero as well as the vaudevilles with Rosendo Rosell and Otto Sirgo.  He ends describing how the theater was demolished to build the I-95 downtown ramps.

The theater was demolished during the mid 1960s, along with the buildings surrounding it, in order to build highway I-95 and its downtown interchanges. 


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