Bay of Pigs Veterans Association “not interested” in taking over Tower Theater

The Miami City Commission withdrew a measure expelling Miami-Dade College from Tower Theater and placing historic properties in the hands of a group of veterans. As it happens, the people who were going to take over the stage don’t want to do anything about it.

A resolution sponsored by Miami City Commissioner Joe Carullo called on the city to waive competitive bidding and allow the Bay of Pigs Veterans Association, 2506 Brigade, to seize the Historic Tower Theater at 1508 SW Eighth Street so they can “run better” on the property. A second decision was to give an empty plot of land behind the theater to the association to build a museum and affordable housing.

And while the 2506th Brigade command is keen on the empty space, they say they don’t care about controlling the theater that Miami-Dade College has run for 20 years.

There is nothing we want to do there. We are not interested in this property,” said Rafael Montalvo, chief of Brigade 2506. the new era.

Montalvo says the new era That Brigade 2506 secured $2.6 million to build the Bay of Pigs Museum and hopes to build it behind the Tower Theatre. But the theater itself was never in their plans, despite Carolo’s urgings.

“We said no, but he insisted,” Montalvo says. “We don’t want the tower. We are all 80 years old. We don’t want to fight anyone.”

The theater is also located directly in front of the Ball & Chain nightclub, facing across the street. Carolo is notorious for his feud with the men behind Ball & Chain and is currently facing a federal lawsuit from nightclub co-owner Bill Fuller, who alleges that the commissioner used city law enforcement as a weapon to harass his property.

reached by the new era By phone on Wednesday, Carullo said the city manager would be pulling the “tower theater” item from the agenda. This morning City Manager Art Noriega withdrew both decisions while Carolo was not present.

First opened in 1926 as a state-of-the-art facility, Tower Theater served as a link for Cubans who settled in Miami on Calle Ocho in the 1960s and were eager to see American movies. Although the theater closed in 1984, Miami Dade College reopened the venue’s doors in 2002 under a lease with the City of Miami, turning the venue into one of Miami’s favorite venues for art cinema. The lease is in January next.

Juan Mendeta, director of communications for the college, says: the new era via email that the college has gone to great lengths to preserve the theater and make it useful to the Little Havana community through the Miami Film Festival and Gems Film Festival.

Mendeta says the college operates the Tower Theater without help from the city and has invested more than $1 million in capital expenditures for property maintenance and improvement. Mendeta has not said for sure whether the college will seek to renew the lease by 2023.

“The college has been an exceptional supervisor of [this landmark]. MDC is proud of the significant impact it has made on the community through the Tower Theater and all of our campuses and programs, and is always open to future partnerships that will benefit our community and its residents.”

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