Tower Theater

1508 SW Eighth Street,
Miami, FL 33135

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Ticket Booth Tower Theater

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Tower Theater was a Wometco first run house that found itself in the heart of the Cuban exile community by the late-1950’s. Switching to Spanish subtitled double features with the occasional Spanish language film, the Tower Theater, or Teatro Tower as it is known in the neighborhood, often showed Disney films outside the seven year cycle as it followed the Mexican Disney release pattern. I saw “Pinocchio” here as a child during one of its many re-releases.

Despite being physically unimpresive inside or out, the Tower Theater is now notorious for its controversial city funded remodel, it’s political location next to the anti-Castro conclave known as Domino Park and its even more notorious history as a fund raising venue for Castro himself.

Contributed by Al Alvarez

Recent comments (view all 29 comments)

Harvey
Harvey on April 25, 2010 at 7:30 am

1985 Miami News article on the Tower’s original closing.

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RLSemes
RLSemes on December 2, 2010 at 1:52 pm

My grandmother and I went to the Tower Theatre once, as I recall,
to see “Half Angel” starring Loretta Young. I suppose it was around 1950 and I was about nine years old. I remember huge round airconditioning vents in the ceiling…larger than other theatres I knew at the time. As far as interior decor, I don’t remember anything at all. I do remember the “tower” was neon it and maybe
flashed. A decade or so later the “tower” came down as shown in the 1961 or thereabouts photo earier in this thread. My grandmother lived at S.W. 11th Terrace just west of 22nd Ave and we probably walked to the Tower since she didn’t drive…or we could have taken the #5 Miami bus down S.W. 8th Street. I would have gone to the show there more if my grandmother hadn’t moved just a short while after that.

PhillipPessar
PhillipPessar on December 27, 2010 at 8:43 am

Another recent photo of The Tower Theater.
View link

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on October 14, 2011 at 6:24 pm

The link needs to be updated:

http://www.mdc.edu/tower/

rivest266
rivest266 on October 16, 2011 at 12:35 pm

This opened on December 20th, 1926. Ad posted in this theatre’s photo section.

guarina
guarina on May 15, 2012 at 7:05 pm

AlAlvarez, The Town was one of the first movies I ever went to when I moved to Miami, in late August 1961 I saw “The Savage Innocents” with Anthony Quinn. “Hang Down Your Head Tom Dooley” was playing in the juke box in a nearby coffee shop and I had a Yoo-Hoo. And I think it was there I later saw “El Rufián”, a good Argentinean suspense movie, and “La Novia” with Chilean Antonio Prieto.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on May 15, 2012 at 8:58 pm

Guarina, you remember LA NOVIA? Nobody else seems to.

It seems to have escaped history and it was one of my late mother’s favorite films.

I can still remember Antonio Prieto singing “Blanca y radiate va la novia…” as he walked down the aisle of the church as his heart sick love married her doctor, and not him.

“Le sigue atras su novio amante”.

Ave Maria!

guarina
guarina on May 16, 2012 at 6:25 am

Al, Yes I remember “La Novia” very well; several scenes have stayed in my mind all these years. The movie was a little “sappy”, but I loved the song, “Ante el altar está llorando, todos dirán que es de alegría”.

Louis of Pompano
Louis of Pompano on January 29, 2013 at 2:59 pm

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.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on January 29, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Hey Louis, I remember that clock. It had a blueish hue that was on all during the movies.

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