Tower Theater Exhibit Celebrates Music Legend Celia Cruz

Tower Theater - Celia Cruz Forever Exhibit

By Carolina del Busto | Miami New Times – August 29, 2023

“Celia Cruz: Por Siempre” highlights the Cuban singer’s life through personal objects and fashion.

A montage of images featuring a toothy Celia Cruz greets guests as they walk into the Tower Theater on Calle Ocho. Once a beacon for indie films — and local film festivals — the theater has, not without controversy, been transformed into a mini museum after Miami Commissioner Joe Carollo led the charge to boot Miami Dade College as the venue’s steward, effectively shuttering one of the few remaining art-house cinemas in the city.

Its current programming includes an exhibition dedicated to the Queen of Salsa herself. Aptly titled “Celia Cruz: Por Siempre,” it was curated by Omer Pardillo-Cid, former manager and executor of Celia Cruz’s estate. In partnership with the City of Miami, the tribute to the beloved songstress will remain on view until summer 2024.

On an unassuming Wednesday afternoon, two tourists from New York stumble into the Tower Theater and immediately start snapping pictures of every item on display. Raquel and Gabriel, an Ecuadorian couple, are on vacation and heard about the exhibit. Raquel kept her sunglasses on as she walked around, mouth agape and getting up close to every item she could. Her husband dutifully took pictures.

The pair walked in at the perfect time and were treated to an exclusive tour by Pardillo-Cid, featuring guest appearances by Tico Torres and Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte, the duo that styled and photographed Cruz for many years.

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