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I actually went there during the adult film tenure with my then-girlfriend because we thought it might be fun to watch the flick and do it in the car. Instead, we were so bored with what was being shown that we went on home. No handi-wipe either!
The location is now a Costco warehouse.
The theater was built inside the building that once housed a Polly Davis/St. Clair’s/David’s cafeteria. It later was Kaufman and Roberts. Kaufman and Roberts were a clone of the popular “Kennedy and Cohen” appliance stores – and used a similar marketing strategy of one Jewish and one Irish name as supposed “partners”.
When that firm went under, a gym opened up inside the building.
Prior to the theater, an Italian restaurant called “The Spaghetti Bowl” was planned, but never opened.
The Regal Brewery was on the Miami River near [i think] 20th Street. They made both the Regal and National brands.
Al… thanks for jogging my memory… those two names escaped me!
Ed Claughton (whose family owned the chain) said that the Variety was referred to as “Claughton’s Folly” because of how soon after WWII his father opened the theater – presumably when the economy had not yet rebounded from the war…
Claughton Theaters also owned the Embassy and Royal Theaters on SE 1st Stret in downtown Miami. They were closed, sold and torn down around 1959 for new construction.
In the late 1940’s, Claughton inked a deal with the late Ed Taigman (a former mayor of North Miami) to build a theater behind his wraparound retail property on NE 125th Street and NE 6th Avenue in North Maimi… however, that deal never gelled. A Walgreen Drug Store sits on that corner now.
I believe that pharmacy was actually called the Parkmore. Shortly after the Parkway Theater was demolished, I was heading over to visit a photographer friend of mine – the late Robert M. Kelley of Kelley Photography in Coral Gables – and spotted the Coca-Cola sign.
Bob loved Miami Nostalgia as much as I did (he was born here in 1926), and rushed over shortly thereafter to photograph the wall with the vintage sign as soon as I told him about it.
Of course, the mental midgets in this town are more interested in money than historic preservation… so you KNOw what happened to that sign. A similar “Hamburgers -10 Cents” sign showed up after the Little River/Bard/79th Street Art theater was demolished… and that sign is also a memory.
When I was collecting old Miami photos back in 1984, I met the late Stanley Stern of Wometco Theaters. He showed me a great scrapbook, which included pictures of a sign company changing the name of the Miami Theater to the Town in advance of the opening of the new Miami Theater west of that location. He also shared a few photos with me, including an old color shot of the Town Theater.
Those photos are now part of the collection of my friend – South Florida historian Seth Bramson… however a digital print of that photo of the Town is on Don Boyd’s site…
Even though the City of North Miami never did acquire the theater from Phillip Michael Thomas, I disagree with Harvey. Stage plays “and other crap” are still a better thing than having an empty building, which it’s been for years.
As far as I know, it’s always been a movie theater. Perhaps the intent was to have stage plays, but that never happened. In it’s early years, there were two retail storefronts to the left and right of the box office/entrance.
If I recall from an old photo, one was a TV-Radio repair and the other was “Camerucci the Tailor” (in the 1950’s)…
Amazingly, this was the ONLY theater in North Miami until the 1980’s, when a dollar theater was constructed inside the former St. Clair’s/Polly Davis/David’s Cafeteria in the 127th Street Shopping Center on Biscayne Blvd. It didn’t last.
Neither did the budget movie house built by Jack Knapp behind his West Dixie Lanes (formerly Interama/Pinerama Lanes) on West Dixie Hwy. near 159th Street in North Miami Beach.
I forgot to mention – if you look at the picture posted above – the wall on the left side of the image is where the original entrance was; pre-renovation build-out.
I’ve seen old photos of the Colony with an entrance directly on Lincoln Road itself. It was probably in 1955 that Florida State Theaters remodeled it with it’s diagonal entrance from Lincoln Road to Lenox Avenue.
The above-the-marquee signage lost its Plexiglass panels after 1965’s Hurricane Donna… and I remember seeing pieces of it up and down Lenox Avenue. In 1967 I (and a high school buddy) got dressed up in sport jackets and ties to look older – and we actually got in (at the age of 15) to see the movie “Candy” at the Colony…
When I worked at Miami-Dade Community College in the late 1970’s, one of the members of the graphics department was Frank Spaulding, who had been an animator with Fleischer – both in New York and in Miami…
The address is either 2299 or 2990 W. Bunche Park Drive (more than likely 2299 – West of NW 22nd Avenue). The address above is a typo.
When I was going to Ida M. Fisher Junior High in the mid-1960’s, the building that houses the Roxy was a fire insurance company office. If memory serves me correctly – and I can’t prove this… I believe the insurance company relocated because THEY had a fire!
This theater was renamed the Capitol in the 1950’s, originally the name of the downtown Miami theater that became the studios for WTVJ (then Channel 4). The Harlem/Capitol was torn down in the late 1960’s for construction of the 836 Expressway.
I used to go to my friend’s record store The Reord Gallery in the early 1970’s, which was located directly across the “hall” from the Star Cinema in the Woolco mall. Afetr a number of friendly chats with the manager, I used to go in there and kill some time watching the films… Ah! The indiscretions of youth!
Don Boyd is a buddy of mine and has a great site… so check it out!
As for the 79th Street Twin II, It WAS originally the Bard, then the Little River, then the 79th Street Art Theater. Right around the corner from it (on NE 2nd Avenue) was the King, formerly the Rex… originally the Rosetta.
There was another theater on NE 2nd Avenue South of 79th Street which became a split location for two businesses… Newgay Table Tennis and a company that did yearbook photos – I think it was called Nationwide Studios.