The Olympia Theatre at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts owes its distinctively Moorish character to renowned theater architect John Eberson, and when it first opened in 1926 as a silent movie palace, Miamians were amazed by its exotic courtyard, the ornate towers and sculptures, and brilliantly colored plaster and tile. This exotic setting evolved into a vaudeville showplace in the 1930’s, but fell into disrepair in the 1950’s.
EverGreene returned the theater to John Eberson’s original design and splendor. EverGreene first performed a historic paint investigation and discovered that the original scheme had only 25 different colors in various combinations, possibly the result of budget constraints. EverGreene plasterers also studied the original building plans and archival photographs, documenting the decorative scheme before cleaning the entire auditorium, removing non-historic attachments, and replicating and replacing what was beyond repair. EverGreene decorative painters custom-mixed the paint to achieve just the right purple-blue color in the ceiling, and produced samples for each decorative element throughout the auditorium, which were reviewed and approved by the client before decoratively painting the entire auditorium.
Architect: R.J. Heisenbottle Architects
General Contractor: Trigram LLC