Theatergoers are invited come in costume to a special showing of the film Dick Tracy and join in the dance party afterwards as Miami’s historic Olympia Theater celebrates its 90th birthday this Saturday night.
“It was at the peak of Miami’s 1920s real estate boom when legendary Mayor Ed Romfh opened the evening by turning on the atmospheric theater’s overhead twinkling stars and moving clouds,” says Robert Geitner, the Olympia’s executive director. The film that night was The Grand Duchess and the Waiter but now, nearly a century later, it will be the 1990 film starring Warren Beatty and Madonna lights up the vintage movie palace’s screen for the birthday bash.
“This is a great film to celebrate the Olympia’s 90th birthday, says Nayib Estefan, founder of the Secret Celluloid Society (SCS). “Watching Dick Tracy on film, the way it was intended to be seen is a sensory overload. I don’t think any other film has come close to recreating that atmosphere,” he added. SCS has partnered with the Olympia to put on the event, which is entitled “An Evening with Dick Tracy.
Although the Olympia opened during the time when alcohol was banned, there will be no Prohibition on Saturday nght for the event, which is entitled “An Evening with Dick Tracy,” as Geitner noted that the booze will show freely for those who purchase a $59 ticket for the film and after-party. (People who want to see the film only can do so for $19, and will be seated in the balcony.)
The Olympia opened on Feb. 18, 1926 as a silent movie palace, amazing audiences with its stunning Moorish architecture, complete with turrets, perfect acoustics, and twinkling night skies, who flocked there not only because of the decor, but also probably because the venue was the first air-conditioned building in the south. It was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984, but it declined until a massive restoration project was undertaken.
The Olympia and SCS are both recipients of recent Knight Arts Challenge grants from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation – the Olympia for its very successful “In the Lobby Lounge . . . “ series which opens the theater free to the public on Wednesday nights and Secret Celluloid Society for a new project converting a 1986 bookmobile into a portable project booth that brings 16mm/35mm and high-resolution digital projection to Miami neighborhoods.
The Olympia’s birthday celebration is a first-time collaboration for the two organizations but likely won’t be the last.
“I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship,” Geitner added.
More info: Olympia Theater