With the television boom in the 1960s, shows such as The Dick Clark Show, The Ed Sullivan Show and the Miss USA and Miss Universe Pageants were often filmed in the auditorium. In 1964, the city of Miami Beach offered Jackie Gleason the opportunity to film his show here. Mr. Gleason agreed to move his show to sunny Miami Beach, where he declared: “Miami Beach audiences are the greatest in the world!”
In the 1970s, having been renovated by Morris Lapidus and renamed Miami Beach Theater of the Performing Arts, it became a regular stop for touring Broadway shows including: Gypsy (starring Angela Lansbury), Timbuktu (starring Eartha Kitt), Carousel (starring Robert Goulet), and West Side Story (starring Debbie Allen).
Performing arts took center stage in the 1980s with memorable performances by pianist Vladimir Horowitz, Itzhak Perlman, and Rudolf Nureyev. Broadway productions included: My Fair Lady (starring Rex Harrison), Sugar Babies (starring Mickey Rooney and Ann Miller), and Cabaret (starring Joel Gray). In 1987, the City of Miami Beach recognized Jackie Gleason’s contributions to the community by renaming the theater, The Jackie Gleason Theater of the Performing Arts.