Best Renovation - 2008
The Fillmore Miami Beach at The Jackie Gleason Theater
1700 Washington Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33139
Hipsters usually scream in horror — often with good reason — when corporations muscle in on their turf, but this one time, they might be wrong. Live Nation's takeover of operations at the storied Jackie Gleason Theater may just be the best thing to have happened entertainment-wise since the Great One appeared at the Miami Beach Auditorium in 1964. Live Nation spent about $4 million to transform the location into a contemporary concert space. Attendees are thrilled at how much nicer and enjoyable the place is. But the best part is the booking; popular artists now fill the schedule. No longer are there only school graduations, low-rent comedians, and the occasional foreign musician. The theater is now part of the Fillmore family of venues, which originated in San Francisco during the flower-power years. It's a much sweeter deal than paying Cirque du Soleil to turn the place into a creepy jugglers' paradise. Real groovy, man.