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Coconut Grove’s Ace Theater Placed on National Register of Historic Places

July 18, 2016 by Sean McCaughan
ace theater

Photo via Google Street View.

The Ace Theater in the West Grove, which was built in the 1930s and one of the few movie theaters to cater to Miami’s black community in the intervening decades of segregation (Real Deal says it was the “only” one in the ’50s, which doesn’t sound quite right. For one thing, the Olympia had a black section.) has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places following a campaign by its owners, longtime Coconut Grove residents The Wallace Family. Following the designation, the Wallaces plan to preserve and restore the theater as a multi-use entertainment venue, taking advantage of tax credits and transferable development rights to make the project more appealing to investors. Although a similar project championed by many Grove-ites, the restoration of the Coconut Grove Playhouse, has been dormant for years, frustrating some people who see the similarities between the two, the restoration of the Ace could be absolutely fantastic for the West Grove, Miami’s oldest black neighborhood, and for the preservation of Miami’s black heritage as a whole.

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