Miami’s film scene is still very much ruled by corporate mega-theaters, usually anchoring entertainment-themed malls. It’s not all bleak, though. Many of the larger multiplexes regularly screen independent fare, and a few independent theaters are giving them a run for their ticket money. Here’s a survey of the major venues, starting with Miami’s five independent theaters.
This on-campus theater at the University of Miami is a longtime staple of the independent cinema scene in Miami. Throughout its darkest days, the Cosford has held strong with regular showings, on its one screen, of programs from student films to documentaries to shoestring-budget dramas and comedies.
Address: 1111 Memorial Drive, Coral Gables
This recently opened, single-screen theater sits across the street from Books and Books in downtown Coral Gables, creating a nice little cultural hub with plenty of parking in the adjoining garage. As a nonprofit, the comfortably appointed theater can play everything from documentaries about pastry to riskier dramatic fare by directors like Werner Herzog.
Address: 260 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables
This is the first movie theater in Wynwood, O Cinema reflects the artistic cross-pollination of the neighborhood. The 5000-square-foot space is centered around a theater, naturally, but also boasts in-lobby boutiques and an adjoining space for art installations. There are regular film screenings as well as one-off late-night events, and the theater serves up organic snacks and beer and wine.
Address: 90 NW 29th St., Miami
After hosting roaming, one-off events throughout town for the past few years, the Miami Beach Cinematheque has found a new, brick-and-mortar home inside city hall. The new space is a combination proper theater and gallery and is beloved by regulars for its particularly welcoming atmosphere. Films and themed nights of programming are usually accompanied by explanatory lectures or discussion sessions.
Address: Inside Miami Beach City Hall, 1130 Washington Ave., South Side, Ground Floor, Miami Beach
This historic Little Havana theater is funded by Miami Dade College and is the only local independent cinema with two screening rooms. Most of the films that screen at Tower are foreign language with English subtitles.
Address: 1508 SW 8th St., Miami
AMC Aventura 24
This mammoth theater is the multiplex of choice for northeastern Miami-Dade County. Lines stretch long on weekends, but self-serve ticket kiosks keep things moving. The theater also offers showtimes up to midnight and even beyond.
Address: 19501 Biscayne Blvd., #3001 (inside the Aventura Mall), Aventura
AMC Sunset Place 24
This is the southern counterpart to Aventura, a similarly super-updated mutiplex complete with IMAX and 3-D offerings. This theater does particularly brisk business with University of Miami students and teenagers, who will find plenty of hangouts in the surrounding malls and downtown South Miami streets. Parking in the adjoining garage can be tricky.
Address: 5701 Sunset Drive (inside Sunset Place), South Miami
Cobb Theatres Dolphin 19 and IMAX
This multi-screen complex anchors the entertainment-themed part of Dolphin Mall in western Miami-Dade County, and a surprisingly lively, though chain-dominated, bar/restaurant scene surrounds it. You can even make a full date night out of the attached CineBistro, which allows you to enjoy a full-service dinner during your flick of choice.
Address: 11471 NW 12th St. (inside the Dolphin Mall), Miami
Paragon Grove 13
Though many locals long ago resigned the Cocowalk mall and its chain stores to tourists, this new theater gives both groups a reason to stick around. The Paragon fashions itself sort of as a full evening’s destination, with a full bar/lounge inside. The theater also allows you to reserve your seat of choice — although you’ll pay about a mandatory dollar extra per ticket for this feature.
Address: 3015 Grand Ave. (inside Cocowalk), Miami
Regal Falls 12
Once a United Artists theater, this is now part of the Regal theater chain and is popular with shoppers and teens who like to hang out in the surrounding outdoor mall.
Address: 90000 SW 136th St. (inside the Falls), Miami
Because of its clientele of young tourists and South Beach locals, this particular Regal theater often offers artsy indie films in addition to Hollywood blockbusters. Screenings go to midnight and beyond, and offerings regularly include documentaries and other art-house fare. Again, this being South Beach, allow plenty of time to find parking; the adjacent garage fills up early on weekends.
Address: 1120 Lincoln Road Mall, Miami Beach
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