MIAMI BEACH, FL (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Miami Beach’s one-time money pit, the Jackie Gleason Theater, is suddenly becoming a hot commodity in town, attracting more and more attention with higher stakes bidding offers from a number of promoters.
Originally slated to become a permanent Cirque du Soleil institution in the tourism-fueled city, Live Nation and AEG Live have both jumped in with proposals of their own, along with some big names to bolster the sale.
AEG recently booked comedian Joe Rogan at the venue to show that the company’s popular acts could easily keep the 2,700-capacity facility full.
“There’s nothing wrong with that theater,” AEG’s Randy Phillips told the Miami Herald. “We’re risk takers. We’re promoters. That’s what that building needs.”
Live Nation recently upped its interest, bringing Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony as major partners to the table.
The Gleason’s position in the expansion plan of these three entertainment giants reflects the trend of promoters focusing greater attention on mid-size theaters and less on the major amphitheaters. The Gleason currently loses $1 million per year, and is expected to lose even more in the coming months, with major competition from Miami’s $450 million Carnival Center for the Performing Arts.
AEG Live and Live Nation began pursuing the Gleason after Cirque’s interest brought the theater back into the headlines. Currently operated by SMG, the two promoters both promise better acts than the current off-Broadway program, as well as other major revenue streams for the venue.
“You have to turn it into a music venue,” Bruce Eskowitz, president of global venues for Live Nation told the paper. “It’s a different vibe. It’s a different feel.”
Eskowitz declined providing details of Anthony and Lopez’s role with the Gleason deal, only indicating that they were equal partners recruited to lend credibility to a revamped venue.
“Having the endorsement and the relationship with world-class artists like this,” he said, “will bring notoriety and attention to the building on a world-class scale.”
Propsals are still being considered, but a decision should be announced in the coming months. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers