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Wow, great post! One of the theaters that I have great interest in, and for years have been trying to get information on is the old Strand Theater, which originally was known as the 7th Ave theater. According to Miami building records for the building, the year was 1926. At one point Wometco owned it, then it became independent, and as with all independent Miami theaters, it went to porn during the 60s & early to mid 70s.
To date I have not been able to find a picture of the theater when it was operational. I did manage to find some pictures of the inside during a church renovation, but even now, I think the church is no longer there.
From the info on your post, I can see that you either have resources, or know where to obtain the information. Google is great, but there are just some things that due to time, are just not on Google. I would like to get the Strand’s history and information completed on Cinema Treasures. The Strand was the first movie theater that I attended as a child in Miami circa 50 plus years ago, so it’s become a personal desire of mine, LOL!
The idea of putting a brewery in the old theater is to restore the original marquee, screen, and instead of a stage, 100 taps! Then fill the auditorium with tables, and restore the concession stand to sell finger food. Hell you can even play movies on the old screen if you want. I guess a Twist to an old theater, while preserving it’s charm would have been a good idea. LOL!!! Not sure if they took the bite or not, but it was well worth giving it a shot. The Strand is the only place left from the silent film era that is still standing, with the exception of the Olympia, the rest are all either malls, stores, or who knows what. I think the Strand is worth preserving.
That ad shows a Franklin Miami number, this ad is from the early 60’s, and not past 1965. The named extensions died in the mid 60s as far as advertising goes.
Those comments were never posted on this page. I think that when they re-designed the site, some of the comments were mixed during the upload. The comments you see under the Strand theatre were posted there. I was just perusing the Strand due to a new comment, and saw that the Dade had a lot more comments than the last time I visited the site, I was surprised to see that they are comments which were originally made under the Strand. Glitch I guess.
The Strand was never Teatro Nacional. The name rings a bell, but it’s exact location, I don’t know. I know Teatro Marti was around in those days. A lot of small theatre’s were an on off thing in Miami back in the mid 70’s to early 80’s.
I agree, at least we got something. I had made several attempts prior to the renovation to get some interior pics, but was never able to be in the area when someone was actually there. In spite of the renovation, the church that renovated the place, is no longer there. I am not sure what the status of the actual theatre building is at this time.
Last year I went to a craft beer festival and found that there is a brewery nearby, Wynwood Brewery. I spoke to one of the guys who is either a manager or an owner about the old Strand Theatre and what a great location that would be for a brewery/bar. He showed interest, I guess he was not aware that the theatre was there. Hopefully they may be interested in setting up shop there, as it is not very far from the actual brewery itself.
In the meantime I am still trying to find an old picture of the Strand in it’s glory days, but that hasn’t panned out very well… yet!
Funny how many names this theater had. This must have been after it was called Sun Sun Cinema. It was closed for a long time, then it reopened as the Sun Sun, I guess the Shanghai name was after Sun Sun, because when the theater closed, it was closed as The Strand. The theater was owned by Wometco, then Little Beaver when it became porn, and then there must have been at least 3 other owners after that. The Sun Sun was martial arts, then porn, Shanghai obviously porn, and then finally the Strand again.
The Tower had a really awesome WTVJ Channel 4 neon clock inside. As kids we frequented the theater often. It was always a double feature (spanish subtitles or spanish language) and very cheap. At the time, it was still owned by Wometco. They used to play those spanish Mexican cowboy movies, which were in spanish, but in addition to that, they played mostly current American films with spanish subtitles. I think the last time I attended a movie there was in 71 or 72. The #5 bus took us there, as well as Downtown, where most of the more recent films played.
The Florida, Miami, and Paramount were mostly first run films, until Downtown crapped out. At that point, the aforementioned theaters became stores or small malls. Horrible choices, but Wometco was increasingly getting out of the theater business during those times.
This theater was closer to 70th Street, the entrance was circa 68th Street. The marquee was located there, but you had to drive past the marquee to get in. I have some memories of the marquee on 27th avenue. That area looks very different now. To the north of the marquee, Sears had a warehouse where you could pick up items purchased at the Sears located in the Northside Shopping Center. I remember picking up a bike my Dad bought for me in the latter 60s. I could swear that theater was already closed when I picked up the bike, but I may be wrong. The area was already going through a metamorphosis when I got that bike.
What I don’t remember is the name Liberty City Drive In. The Palm marquee was there for a few years after the theater closed. The marquee was right on NW 27th Avenue.
Very cool picture. Wish we could find one of the exterior of the Strand Theater, aka 7th Avenue Theater before it was named Strand.
Wow, who got the pic? AWESOME!!!!!
Did you happen to see any pictures of the old Strand Theater on NW 7th Avenue? Wometco owned it for a while. I have been searching for a picture of the outside of the theater for quite some time. I would like to have one so we can complete the database on the Strand. We now have some pictures of the inside, which has been renovated, given that the theater is now a church. Would be nice to have some pics of the theater.
There is some mention of this theater in the Sneaky Kitchen forum. There is a section on Allapatah, which is the neighborhood where the theater resided. Seems it was quite popular with the kids back then. The Dade was close by on NW 36th Street, just East of NW 17th Avenue on the north side of the street. I imaging it was somewhere next to the Western Auto, and Kress department store that was there. There was also a Food Fair supermarket. I never saw the Dade or the Regent Theaters, I guess they closed by the time I was old enough to remember. I grew up in the Allapatah Wynwood area, the only theater that I remember was the Strand on NW 7th Avenue.
The Rio was not a great place to go. The neighborhood surrounding it became really bad. The Rio was not on a main drag. After 1970 the streets that ran north & south in downtown were never great places to hang.
I believe the Hippodrome was on the corner of the Florida Theater. The Fotosho became the Paramount. I think the Hippdrome became the Florida.
Here is a link to a YouTube video it was taken inside the old Strand Theater after the renovations. The orientation of the theater auditorium was, north (back of the theater), and south (screen). The theater did have a stage originally, however it was extended out, and to each side, giving it the church appearance that you will see on the video. There are some pictures that show the old stage, those were taken during the renovation process. The building is close to being 100 years old, so judging by the video and the pictures they have done a really nice job renovating. Given Miami’s history of demolition, it’s nice to see that this old theater has found a new life and purpose.
Here is the link, enjoy!
Now all we need is an original picture of the exterior! I have been searching for that for quite some time. Always hoping someone posts one.
Nice shot. The marquee of this theater was much larger. It’s funny how when the marquees are removed, the structures behind it look so small in comparison to what was there.
Just added a couple of new pictures of the interior of the Strand Theater. I will keep updating these as more pictures come available. There is a massive renovation project that the church is doing. Looks very nice. Personally I am very happy that this historic landmark wasn’t demolished, or turned into stores, etc.
Even though it’s not a theater anymore, at least they didn’t demolish the building or turn it into stores, as they did with the State, Miami, Florida, and Town theaters, there is nothing left of those landmarks.
Just saw this theater yesterday. Awesome and impressive. There is a theater around the corner, named the SCAD, seems like it’s part of the Savannah College of Arts & Design, but it’s not listed. I have to assume that the original name of the theater is not SCAD. Perhaps this theater is under another name?
I lived in the area during the 80s, and I don’t remember this theater. When you say tiny, how tiny is tiny? I used to frequent the Northridge Raw Bar nightly, and I never saw this theater, maybe it was the beer and I missed it!
Oh, almost forgot. The Cinema & Drafthouse in Coconut Creek was the same type of theater. There you may have had the teenager issue because Coconut Creek is somewhat of a family area, but there are also a lot of seniors that live in the surrounding condos.
The Cinema Cafe was also named Cinema & Drafthouse. These were a combination of movie theater, and restaurant. The one on 17th Street was pretty cool. It was a dollar theater, so there no first run movies.
In these theaters you sat at a table, and there were waitresses. Not sure why this type of theater did not survive. It was a great place to watch a movie and grab a bite to eat at the same time. Very enjoyable, and comfortable. The only thing was that the screens were not full sized screens, so it was sort of watching a movie on a big screen TV, but it was viewable, I had no issues with it.
Given the structure of the theater auditorium, it definitely wasn’t a teenage kissy kissy type of place. Unless you wanted to kissy kissy with hamburger breath. Maybe this is the reason why it failed. Given the location, I would say that it wasn’t in an area where a lot of teenagers would frequent, but I may have it all wrong!
They could have used the old marquee, that would make perfect sense, because I saw that marquee on several occasions. I am very sure of it being west of 95. My uncle used to deliver beer to a store that was on the corner, and each time we went I was always looking up to see if a car would come off the highway, back in those days, you could hear cars & trucks buzzing by, used to freak me out, so the memory is pretty vivid! It may have very well been 14th St. The street is vague, somehow it felt further south, but maybe not.
I went to WTVJ channel 4 on a few occasions, last time was right after Andrew. If the original Capitol was there, they built all the way around it. Every time I went to channel 4, it was always around the rear entrance. I was involved with a couple of TV news spots over the years. The last one we did was a comparison of blood pressures and heart rates after driving from Ft. Lauderdale to Miami. It was an interesting piece! On the last visit I saw “the bunker” where they broadcasted throughout hurricane Andrew. That was an awesome visit, and my last one.