The Miami Senior High School Theatre

This magnificent theatre (we're insulted when it's referred to as an auditorium!) is three stories tall with a gabled roof on the exterior and a vaulted ceiling inside. Miami Senior High School was considered the center of all cultural life until 1954, when the Dade County Auditorium was built (two blocks from the school). The proscenium detail resembles delicate, intricate lace. Behind the dark blue curtains is a stage on which symphony orchestras and opera companies regularly perform. Even Aida (with live animals) was performed here. In front of the stage is an orchestra pit and the seating area accomodates 1131.


The four huge chandeliers and the iron chains they hang on were made in Tampa, Florida and were designed by Stingarees. Each weighs one-half metric ton and can be lowered from the ceiling to have lights changed and to be cleaned.

By the way, you're probably wondering if any of the chandeliers has ever fallen... well, yes. Two have fallen throughout the years but both times the theatre was empty and no one was hurt.

What a dramatic event... and no one there to enjoy it!

Looking around the theatre you can see the ten balconies where beautiful additions are made to productions. Each
balcony has a rosette on the slender center column and below the balcony is a border of repeated geometric
patterns in pressed cement. The photos below show the balconies on the left-hand side of the theatre
(as you enter) and an enlargement of the detail on the balcony.


On each side of the main theatre floor exist the clock areas, guarded by griffins and
gargoyles-- symbols of the literary past. The tree of knowledge on the arch at the center of the
stage (an uninformed painter colored it blue!), is protected by the griffin and dragon figures.




Every detail was taken into consideration in designing the theatre. Even the lamps on the walls and the ones on the wooden slats next to the doors on the second floor fit in perfectly.

The view from the stage is also quite phenomenal. The theatre is known for its acoustical soundness. It is
nearly perfect in acoustics. The back wall has been improved and beneath each of the wood slats
(each measures 1" across), has been placed cork paneling so that the sound is such that you can stage
a production without amplification or microphones.

The theatre has had its share of non-human visitors too...The area beneath the stage was home to a family of
foxes during the 1970s. It was common to see sets of little eyes staring at students who were
staring back in surprise! In the ceiling above the theatre, numerous bats have been
found... one time to declare this as the only bat colony in Dade County! There's no need for fear though.
Today the thing you'll see if you look directly up while standing on the stage is the fly system...
that is, the bars and ropes with lights, curtains and backdrops attached to them for use during productions.


This brings our tour to an end...

As you leave through the center doors of the theatre, we hope you have enjoyed your tour of Stingtown!