The North Beach Bandshell is an open-air amphitheater in the heart of Miami Beach’s North Beach neighborhood. The City of Miami Beach awarded management of this historic gem to the Rhythm Foundation in 2015.
Built in 1961 by Norman Giller and Associates, the North Beach Bandshell is an anchor of the North Shore Historic District. The historic district received its 2009 designation on the National Register of Historic Places based on the characteristic style of MiMo (Miami Modernism or MidCentury Modernism), a post-war modern style of architecture.
The Bandshell sits near the site of the first structure on Miami Beach, the Biscayne House of Refuge, built in 1875. Families who lived and worked at the House of Refuge acted as life-savers, traveling up and down the beach after storms in search of castaways from the then common shipwrecks which would occur in the fast changing shoals and reefs of Biscayne Bay.
Since its construction, the Bandshell has served as a community center and gathering place for North Beach residents. Big bands would play on Saturday nights, creating an impromptu ballroom under the stars. In the 1960s, famed variety TV show The Mike Douglas Show filmed on location here during the winter months. In the 1970s, benches were removed and the venue was used as a roller skating rink.
For over fifty years the North Beach Bandshell has brought people together in the spirit of community, culture and entertainment
Thanks to a renovation in 2011, the space has been revived to its original splendor. Work on the site continues, with recent improvements to Bandshell Park and the construction of the neighboring UNIDAD Senior Center. Bandshell Park also features domino pavilions, and a CMB Arts in Public Places-commissioned glass tile mandala created by artist Kevin Arrow, memorializing the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ first performance in the US at the nearby Deauville Hotel. Pick-up volleyball games go on in the Beach Bowl courts, just behind the park, and beach goers can enjoy the Beach Walk, a wide paved path which currently connects Allison Park and its life-size turtle sculptures on 62nd Street and the North Shore Open Space Park at 81st Street.
The Rhythm Foundation received the keys to the North Beach Bandshell from the City in April 2015, and have quickly become an important area venue for concerts and special events. In 2016, the venue was even named “Best Venue” by the New Times Best of Miami!