MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Coral Gables founder George Merrick would not like what’s going on in his ‘City Beautiful.’
The coronavirus pandemic has ravaged restaurants and retailers alike along the Miracle Mile, just two years after a massive and financially disruptive makeover of the famous shopping district.
The Actors’ Playhouse at the iconic Miracle Theatre has not been immune to the impact.
“I think we have a $1.6 million, $1.7 million loss in revenue over the last four or five months because of the pandemic,” said Barbara Stein, Executive Producing Director of the Actors’ Playhouse at The Miracle Theatre.
Gone for now are popular productions that drew both crowds and patrons. The playhouse has been reduced to producing online, virtual, Facebook events, where they encourage young artists while keeping top of mind with supporters.
“We had to let go of our technical staff, many had been with us 20 years,” said Stein.
The hit play “Million Dollar Quartet” drew thousands to the theater during the reconstruction crisis, but during this crisis, the playhouse is closed and business is hurting.
“In 1995, when we created our partnership with the city, they were looking for this theater to be a performing arts center to create the foot traffic to revitalize the downtown,” said Stein.
It might play a similar important role again when opened post COVID-19. A functioning cultural attraction could very well turn out to be a major player in a post-pandemic economic recovery. As for donors?
“Some have come forward with dollars and many are waiting for a call and some are hesitant,” said Stein. “People are concerned about their investment for the season. Right in the middle of the pandemic starting we were in the height of a major campaign for subscriptions.”
The Actors’ Playhouse at Coral Gables Miracle Threatre has scheduled a major and virtual fundraiser for September.