Project: The Seminole Theater (1921, 1940)
Location: Homestead, Florida
The Seminole Theater originally a Mediterranean Revival style building, opened its door in 1921 as a 500 seats movie theater. The theater was heavily damaged in a 1940 fire, leaving little more than a concrete shell.
In 1940 prolific theater design architect Roy A. Benjamin was hired to rebuild the Seminole, which changed the design to a Streamline Moderne style. The theater remained vacant for many years and after several futile attempts to bring it back to life and after the devastation of hurricane Andrew the Seminole Theater owners donated the building to the city of Homestead.
During a previous attempt to bring the theater back to life, all the interior finishes, seats and partitions were removed leaving only the exposed concrete shell. The auditorium was redesigned with new finishes, a new seating layout to accommodate 480 seats with improved sightlines and enhanced lighting and acoustical systems making it a state of the arts preforming arts center.
William B Medellin Architect P.A. as the historic preservation consultant for the project was responsible for the restoration of the historic facades, including the re-painting of the exterior walls to match the original historic colors; re-installation of missing historic elements such as the historic “Starburst” fretwork over the transom entrance doors and the historic travertine wainscot using historic salvaged travertine found at the Theater’s storage room; and the restoration of the interior lobby stairs and railings, the only historic interior element remaining in the building.