Movie Theaters

The first proper movie theater in Miami was Kelly’s Theater in 1906, which sat on the south side of Flagler near the old Burdines.  Kelly’s gave way to the more palatial theaters with sloping floors, roomy seats, and chandeliers. The 1950s and 1960s saw the birth of the Riviera in Coral Gables, Suniland in what is now Pinecrest and the popular Dadeland Mall theater. By the 1990s most of the grander palaces were gone, but some of the buildings remain: The Olympia, which became the Gusman Center on Flagler; The Miracle, which is getting its marquee and box office restored; The Shores in Miami Shores, which hosts The Miami Theater Center and O Cinema’s presentation of independent, foreign and art films; The Tower in Little Havana is run by Miami-Dade College and Overtown’s historic Lyric Theater, which showcases live performances in the restored venue.  Drive-in theaters didn’t fare so well. The only one in South Florida is at the Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop and there are seven more outdoor theaters scattered throughout the state.

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