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This Miami theater was almost torn down. Now it’s celebrating 110 years in Overtown

Inside Miami's Historic Overtown Lyric Theater. (Carl Juste/Miami Herald)
Inside Miami’s Historic Overtown Lyric Theater. (Carl Juste/Miami Herald)
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The Lyric Theater was saved by God and Dorothy Fields. At least that’s how Kamila Pritchett puts it.

“It was almost on the verge of demolition by neglect,” said Pritchett, the director of the Black Archives-Historic Lyric Theater. The nearby Miami Heat arena was being built and contractors planned to raze parts of Overtown for parking. A discovery, however, was made: the front facade of the building had faint etchings that read “General Assembly the Church Lord Jesus Christ of the Apostolic Faith.”

“That saved it a little bit of time being a religious building,” Pritchett continued, adding that the Lyric had a brief tenure as a place of worship that began in the late 1950s. “And in that time, Dr. Fields applied to have it placed in the national register of historic places and was successful.”

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