Miami Beach Convention Center

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Miami Beach Convention Center
Miami Beach FL Convention Center01.jpg
Exterior of venue (c. 2011)
Address 1901 Convention Center Dr
Miami Beach, FL 33139-1820
Location City Center, South Beach
Owner Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau
Operator Comcast Spectra
Opened October 1, 1958 (1958-10-01)
Renovated 1967-68, 1972, 1974, 1987-88, 1991, 2015-18
Construction cost
$4 million
($34.9 million in 2016 dollars[1])
Former names
Miami BBQ Beach Exhibition Hall (planning/construction)
Miami Beach Exhibition Hall (1958-68)
Banquet/ballroom 2,160 (Palm Ballroom)
1,871 (Flamingo Ballroom)
Theatre seating
2,713 (Fillmore Miami Beach)
Enclosed space
 • Total space 1,200,000 square feet (110,000 m2)
 • Exhibit hall floor 502,848 square feet (46,716.1 m2)
 • Breakout/meeting 64,112 square feet (5,956.2 m2)
 • Ballroom 39,543 square feet (3,673.7 m2)
Website Venue Website

The Miami Beach Convention Center (originally the Miami Beach Exhibition Hall) is a convention center located in Miami Beach, Florida. Opening in 1958, the venue is composed of four exhibition halls, two ballrooms and a concert venue.


Current logo

In 1955, the City of Miami Beach proposed building an exhibition hall to increase commerce along with its budding tourism. Located centrally within South Beach, the venue began construction in August 1956. At this time, the proposed name of the venue was the "Miami BBQ Beach Exhibition Hall". After two years of building, the center was completed in September 1958 and officially opened October 1958. Known as the "Miami Beach Exhibition Hall", the venue was over 100,000 sqft, giving it the tagline of "The Largest Exhibition Center in the South". Alongside the exhibit hall was the Miami Beach Municipal Auditorium, a now-historic venue that hosted The Jackie Gleason Show.

In 1967, the center was expanded to include the Convention Hall, built specifically for the Democratic and Republican conventions. It also served as a sports arena until the 1980s.

In August 1961, the Convention Center was the meeting place for a youth convention set up by the American Lutheran Church. Among the notable speakers was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.[2]

From 1960-1971, and again in 1997, the center was the site of the Miss Universe pageant. It also hosted a 1961 Billy Graham Crusade and hosted the 1968 Republican National Convention, 1972 Republican National Convention, and the 1972 Democratic National Convention.

In 1989, the facility underwent a $92 million renovation and doubled in size. In the last six years, the facility has had over $35 million in continuing upgrades, including complete renovations of all restrooms, full carpet replacement, and installation of a state-of-the-art telecommunications and networking infrastructure.

Sporting events[edit]


The center was the site of the Muhammad Ali vs. Sonny Liston boxing match in 1964.[3]


It was also a regular stop for Championship Wrestling from Florida. Terry Funk defeated Jack Brisco for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship at the Convention Center on December 10, 1975. World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) held their Annual WrestleMania Axxess event at the complex from March 29, 2012 to April 1, 2012. The event featured many WWE talents and showcased many former WWE events and props used during their TV tapings.


The ABA's The Floridians called the Convention Center (and the Convention Center Annex) home when they played in Miami.

Team Tennis[edit]

The Florida Flamingos of World Team Tennis played their home matches in the Convention Hall in 1974, their only year of existence.

Without an on-campus facility, the University of Miami men's basketball team played many of their games in Miami Beach at both the Convention Center and the Miami Beach Auditorium in the 1960s. Led by popular coach Bruce Hale and the high scoring future basketball Hall-of-Famer Rick Barry, the Hurricanes were able to draw capacity crowds.[4]

Current use[edit]

The center hosts the annual South Florida Auto Show, Art Basel, Florida Supercon, Forgiato Fest, and many other popular conventions.

In December 2015, the center embarked on a renovation and expansion project expected to be completed in June 2018.[5][6]

Fillmore Miami Beach[edit]

The Fillmore Miami Beach
Miami Beach FL Fillmore Theater01.jpg
Exterior of venue (c.2011)
Full name The Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater
Former names Miami Beach Municipal Auditorium (1958-64)
Miami Beach Auditorium (1964-74)
Miami Beach Theater of the Performing Arts (1974-1987)
Jackie Gleason Theater of the Performing Arts (1987-2007)
Address 1700 Washington Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139-7540
Location Miami Beach Convention Center
Owner Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau
Operator Live Nation
Capacity 2,713
Opened October 1, 1958 (1958-10-01)
Renovated 1973-74, 1986-88, 1991, 2007
Architect Russell T. Pancoast, Henry Hohauser and Lawrence Murray Dixon
Project manager L&H Miller Company
General contractor Zaret Construction
Venue Website

The Fillmore Miami Beach (originally the Miami Beach Municipal Auditorium) is an auditorium and concert venue located in Miami Beach, Florida. The venue is a part of the Miami Beach Convention Center complex. Opening in 1957, the auditorium was once home to many television variety shows, including the third revival of The Jackie Gleason Show. In 2007, the venue was acquired by Live Nation Entertainment, and was branded with the historic name, "The Fillmore"


The Fillmore Miami Beach opened in 1957 alongside the Miami Beach Exhibition Hall. Known as the "Miami Beach Municipal Auditorium", the venue gained instant popularity. During the 50s and 60s, it become the home to many television variety shows, including: The Dick Clark Show, The Ed Sullivan Show and The Jackie Gleason Show. From 1960-71, the venue hosted the annual Miss USA and Miss Universe pagents. In 1964, the theatre was renamed to the "Miami Beach Auditorium" after the building became co-owned by the City of Miami Beach and CBS Studios. During this time, it also became the home of the third revival of The Jackie Gleason Show. The show ran from 1964, with the final episode airing February 1970.

Shortly after the show ended, famed architect Morris Lapidus was called in to redesign the theate. In 1974, the theatre reopened as the "Miami Beach Theater of the Performing Arts". Providing the auditorium with theatre-style seating, the venue became the hot spot for many Broadway shows including: Gypsy (with Angela Lansbury), Timbuktu! (with Eartha Kitt) and Carousel (with Robert Goulet). During the 80s and 90s, the venue continued to boom on the theatre scene and become the hot spot for concerts. The theatre attracted many well known performers like: Marc Anthony, Tony Bennett, Liza Minnelli, Seal, and Lenny Kravitz.

In the late eighties, the venue was renovated by Borrelli, Frankel & Blitstein. The renovation gave the facade of the building it Art Deco design, similar to many of the other buildings in the area. Following the death of Jackie Gleason in June 1987, the city of Miami Beach commemorated his career and renamed his former home, the "Jackie Gleason Theater of the Performing Arts".

In October 2006, Live Nation acquired operating rights to the venue. Shortly after, the venue began another renovation to the tune of $3.5 million. Renovations were speared by ADD Inc. The theater reopened October 2007, under the "Fillmore" brand, the "The Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater". Since acquisition, the Fillmore has become the busiest mid-sized venue in the South, hosting over 200 concerts per year. The venue has attracted big name artists including: Ricky Martin, Lana Del Rey, The Weeknd, Fall Out Boy and Lily Allen.

On May 5, 2010, NBC Miami reported that the theater would be demolished as a result of remodeling for the convention center, which would replace the theater with a new hotel.[7][8] The demolition did not take place and The Fillmore Miami Beach is still in operation as of January 2015.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis Community Development Project. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved October 21, 2016. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Facility History". Miami Beach Convention Center. Retrieved 2006-06-15. [dead link]
  4. ^ Underwood, John. "Miami's Picks: Slick And Rick". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 6 January 2012. 
  5. ^ "Exciting change is coming to our Convention Center". Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  6. ^ Flechas, Joey (13 September 2015). "Miami Beach Convention Center's big plans". Miami Herald. Retrieved 4 January 2016. 
  7. ^ "Jackie Gleason Theater:Away It Goes!". NBC Miami. 5 May 2010. Retrieved 1 October 2010. 
  8. ^ "Future of Former Jackie Gleason Theater Uncertain". Palm Beach Post. 16 June 2010. Retrieved 1 October 2010. 
  9. ^

External links[edit]

Events and tenants
Preceded by
Georgia World Congress Center
WrestleMania Axxess

Succeeded by