- Associated Press - Sunday, June 28, 2015

MIAMI, Okla. (AP) - The Coleman Theatre Beautiful is located in the heart of downtown Miami and is often referred to as the jewel of Route 66. It was named by the state legislature as the official vaudeville theater of Oklahoma. The facility opened to a pack house in April 1929. Today it can comfortably seat around 1100 patrons including the main floor and balcony. Replete with Louis XV interior design, the theater was built by George L. Coleman, Sr., who operated a successful mining business in the area.

Over the decades the once spectacular theater fell into disrepair, although it still operated as a single-screen movie theater. In 1989, the Coleman family donated the building to the City of Miami. Years of grime were removed from the floors, new period seating was installed, the original carpeting was replicated, the massive chandelier hanging in the auditorium was located and refurbished, and the original “Mighty Wurlitzer” pipe organ was repurchased and installed. A group of concerned citizens called “Friends of the Coleman” have spent thousands of volunteer hours painstakingly restoring the theater to its former glory, The Miami News-Record (https://bit.ly/1FD5FNo ) reported.

Today the Coleman is used for ballet and opera, live community and traveling theater, silent movies, theater organ performances, recitals, pageants, educational purposes and as a tourist attraction for Route 66 enthusiasts from all over the world.

The Coleman Theatre is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

In 2011 a Grand Ballroom was dedicated on the second floor, some 80 years after the building first opened. Although the ballroom was envisioned in the original plans, it was never completed. The giant space had been used years ago as a meeting place for the Masons and later as an artist studio for Charles Banks Wilson, known for his depictions of Native Americans, whose work hangs in the Oklahoma State Capitol building.

Part conference center, part ballroom, the Grand Ballroom is designed to accommodate 250 guests for a banquet and up to 300 for other occasions. This stately hall can be divided into three separate configurations for varying space requirements. Audiovisual equipment is available for media presentations and the facility is handicap accessible with elevator service and spacious restrooms.

A modern catering kitchen is on site with warming ovens and an ice machine. China, flatware, tablecloths and napkins are available.

Since opening, the ballroom has been used for wedding anniversaries, receptions, high school proms, and company seminars. Catering is available through area sources.

In 2012 a pocket park was completed on the north side of the building featuring a large fountain, decorative benches, and a “celebrity wall” consisting of plaques depicting famous Miamians.

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Information from: The Miami News-Record, https://www.miaminewsrecord.com

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