Not every city has a place where you can catch screenings of foreign films, 35-mm throwback classics, independent sleeper hits, experimental films from up-and-coming filmmakers and film festivals that bring stars and celebrated directors together. Miami has almost a dozen.
The Coral Gables Art Cinema
This Coral Gables gem is open nightly on weekdays and throughout the day on weekends. Director Nat Chediak serves up a mix of independent and foreign-language films from U.S. distributors, along with movies with no U.S. release plans.
Miami Beach Cinematheque
The Miami Beach Cinematheque features an eclectic array of film series and helps host several regional film festivals. Located in the heart of Miami Beach on Española Way, the Cinematheque also boasts a coffee bar and an impressive collection of books that can be perused before and after screenings. Founder and film aficionado Dana Keith hosts many of the Cinematheque’s events and can often be found behind the coffee bar concocting delicious, caffeinated beverages.
Bill Cosford Cinema
Located at the University of Miami’s Coral Gables campus, the Cosford features first run screenings of foreign and independent films, special programs and student film festivals. Students can view many of the films for free.
Located on Calle Ocho, the Tower is a Miami cultural landmark that opened in 1926 as a silent movie theater. Since then, the Tower has gone through several renovations, including the addition of an
Art Deco exterior, and provided Cuban refugees with an introduction to American culture through film.
Currently under the management of Miami Dade College, the Tower promotes the arts in all their forms by providing special film screenings, lectures and other events.
O Cinema screens a mixture of first-run independent, foreign-language and niche films. With two locations – the funky, artsy coffee house vibe of O Cinema Wynwood and the ornate refurbished movie palace in Miami Beach – the theaters show a combination of mainstream arthouse and retro movies that would not otherwise be shown in South Florida. The venue in Miami Shores is open for the occasional special screening.
Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts
The Olympia Theater, also known as the Gusman Theater, opened in 1926 as downtown Miami’s silent movie palace. It currently functions as a venue for live theater, but the Gusman also plays host to film screenings from time to time. Its beautiful interior, balcony seating and large screen make the Gusman the best place to see a film in Miami. It is one of less than 20 Florida buildings of entertainment that bear a historic designation. Two others — The Ace Theater in Coconut Grove and the Lyric Theater in Overtown — highlight the rich history of Miami’s popular night life scene during the Jim Crow era.
You can’t walk down Lincoln Road without spotting this magnificent landmark that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Colony primarily hosts live theater but occasionally screens film. Its prime location makes it worth visiting on those few occasions.
Part art museum and occasional theater, the Wolfsonian-FIU hosts free film screenings that vary in genre and focus.