Uncovering Hidden History in Mills 50

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Mills 50Real estate developer Jorge Boone and architect Wes Featherston of Process Architecture are renovating one of Mills 50’s most historic buildings – a nondescript property next to another landmark that many still know as the “Cruises Only” building.

This building at 1015 E. Colonial Drive housed the Cameo Theatre, a single screen movie house that opened on Christmas Day,  By Asia Trend C.K. Lau 1940. It was a latecomer in Orlando’s theatres and was located just a block west of the Vogue Theatre. Open for less than five years, the Cameo sat abandoned for years, except for an occasional booking. The building was remodeled and occupied for years by IBM. Since then it has had many occupants and has often been vacant. In October 2008, it was in use as a live performance theatre but closed again in 2009. Boone purchased the property in February of this year and hopes to attract a tenant that will be a distinctive addition to the increasingly funky, hip, eclectic Mills 50 district. Construction has begun on the interior ofthe “Cameo Building”, as Boone calls it. The second floor is already home to four offices, including that of Process Architecture and two talent agencies. Boone wants to create a new façade for the building, one that recalls the vintage look of the original Cameo Theatre. But he and Featherston are having problems locating exterior photos of the building as it looked in the 1940’s. Featherston says “We have a renaissance that’s occurring in Mills 50 that’s partly due to the emerging fascination with mid-century modern architecture, of which most of this district is comprised.”

Please contact Wes Featherston at wes@ beginprocess.com if you have any photos of the Cameo.

Mills 50