Lyric Theater

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

Amidst all the new and cutting-edge art on display at Art Basel and surrounding fairs, an exhibition of late painter Purvis Young’s work is a well-deserved resurrection.

“A Man Amongst the People: A Purvis Homecoming” is the first art show in the newly renovated Historic Lyric Theater in Overtown. The exhibition represents a homecoming for work made by the former Overtown resident.

Pattrik Simmons

The Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) and Big Bus Miami today announced a new tour route that will take passengers on a trip through the historic neighborhoods of Overtown, Midtown, Design District, Downtown Miami, and Wynwood.

Wilson Sayre

For the past few decades, Miami’s historically black Overtown neighborhood has struggled with crime and poverty. Sharing in that decline was the Lyric Theater, where figures like Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, Count Basie and Celia Cruz once graced its stage.

The old theater, though, has a new vision and through kids programming, hopes to change the image of Overtown emblazoned in the not-too-distant memory of South Floridians.

CARL JUSTE / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

The historic Lyric Theater, Miami’s oldest entertainment venue, symbolizes a time when Overtown was a bustling cultural hub: Jazz icon Duke Ellington thrilled audiences on its stage; poet Langston Hughes recited there; soul songstress Aretha Franklin charmed concert-goers with her gospel tunes.

Over the decades the theater, built in 1913 by black tycoon Geder Walker, was either treasured or neglected.