MIAMI — Overtown’s Lyric Theater, right, has been restored and has already hosted its first Lyric Live by the Black Archives. Commissioner Audrey M. Edmonson joined by, left to right, architect Silvia V. Jorrin, AIA; City of Miami Commissioner Keon Hardemon; Dr. Dorothy Fields, founder, Black Archives History and Research organization; and Timothy Barber, Black Archives executive director, helped cut the ribbon to mark the newly refurbished Lyric Theater’s “soft opening” on Feb. 6.
The event, part of Black History Month, honored sponsors and patrons who contributed to the renovation. The Lyric Theater was a focal point of social life in Overtown, the center of Miami’s historic African-American community. When the theater opened, it was an important stop on the black vaudeville circuit, known affectionately as the
“Chitlin’ Circuit.” In the 1930s and 1940s, the theater was a major component of Northwest Second Avenue’s “Little Broadway” entertainment district and contributed to Overtown’s reputation as the “Harlem of the South.” The recently restored building serves as a performing arts center and was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.