Lincoln Theatre

541 Lincoln Road,
Miami Beach, FL 33139

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Lincoln Theatre

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Designed by famed theater architect Thomas W. Lamb in association with Robert E. Collins, who designed the nearby Cameo Theatre, now a nightclub, the Lincoln opened in 1936. A jewel of Art Deco architecture, with its sleek, curving shapes and intricate stylized floral reliefs on its coral-pink facade and elegantly appointed interior, the Lincoln was host to many Miami movie premieres in its long history as a movie house, but finally closed in the early 80s.

After sitting vacant for several years, the building was leased in 1988 by the New World Symphony, which was founded a year earlier by Michael Tilson Thomas. The organization was created to further develop gifted musicians for positions on orchestras all around the world.

In 1990, the NWS purchased the Lincoln outright and began a nearly million-dollar renovation and restoration project.

Though the exterior was restored to its original appearance, including its elaborate marquees and graceful facade, the interior was completely gutted and rebuilt. Now seating 713 in spacious, comfortable chairs, the auditorium contains a stage with over 2000 square feet of space, clear sightlines and near-perfect acoustics.

Practice rooms and administrative offices take up the second, third and fourth floors of the building. Host to classical concerts, including ensemble and chamber programs, the Lincoln is one of the best venues in South Florida to hear classical music, as well as the occasional dance or world music performance, in a comfortable, modern and at the same time, historic location.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 35 comments)

LuisV on April 3, 2011 at 12:30 pm

The status of this theater needs to be changed to CLOSED. I just passed by and it is all boarded up with lots of work going on behind the scenes; presumably to convert it to retail space. We’ll see see what H&M will do to preserve the old theater. I am not hopeful.

ChasSmith on August 22, 2011 at 8:07 am

I’d love to know which roadshow films were run at this theater during the 1960s.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 22, 2011 at 12:23 pm


Here are some Lincoln roadshows:

1957 “The Bridge on the River Kwai” 1959 “Ben-Hur” 1960 “Pepe” 1961 “Judgment at Nuremberg” 1962 “The Longest Day” 1963 “Cleopatra” 1964 “My Fair Lady” 1965 “The Agony and the Ecstasy” 1966 “Exodus” 1967 “Camelot” 1968 “Star!” 1970 “Patton”

If you want to search further, The Miami News is available here:

ChasSmith on August 23, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Your help is always appreciated. Thank you!

Jeff_Donnelly on October 14, 2011 at 8:20 am

There are some urban lends about the Miami Beach Lincoln Theater. Did Ben Hur premiere her in 1960? Was there a wagon/chariot wheel in the lobby to commemorate that event? On the comment above, I would suggest a slight change: the Lincoln Theater (541 Lincoln Road) was open as late as 1986 when I went to a movie there, but I would be intersted in any help in finding documentation on the closing date.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on October 14, 2011 at 10:41 am

Jeff, Brandt closed it in 1970. It re-opened in 1972 as a discount house with occasional first-runs and ran until the summer of 1987. It later re-opened as a performing arts center with movie facilities.

“Ben-Hur” premiered here in 1959 and again for the 1969 roadshow re-release. I can’t help with the wagon wheel.

rivest266 on October 16, 2011 at 2:37 pm

The January 15th, 1936 grand opening ad had been posted here.

ChasSmith on October 20, 2011 at 6:54 am

When was Lincoln Road malled? Sometime in the 1960s, right? But which year?

irishcine on September 7, 2012 at 1:37 am

A story about the conversion of the Lincoln into a shop is at……

Mikeoaklandpark on September 7, 2012 at 11:10 am

Information above should be changed to closed renovating. When I was in Miami BEach in MArch the theater had closed.

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