Tower Theater

1508 SW Eighth Street,
Miami, FL 33135

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Showing 1 - 25 of 29 comments

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on January 29, 2013 at 11:43 pm

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

Louis of Pompano
Louis of Pompano on January 29, 2013 at 10:59 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.

guarina
guarina on May 16, 2012 at 2:25 pm

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”.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on May 16, 2012 at 4:58 am

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 3:05 am

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.

rivest266
rivest266 on October 16, 2011 at 8:35 pm

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

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on October 15, 2011 at 2:24 am

The link needs to be updated:

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

PhillipPessar
PhillipPessar on December 27, 2010 at 4:43 pm

Another recent photo of The Tower Theater.
View link

RLSemes
RLSemes on December 2, 2010 at 9:52 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.

Harvey
Harvey on April 25, 2010 at 3:30 pm

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

View link

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on March 22, 2010 at 8:59 pm

OK, thanks. I was close.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on March 22, 2010 at 8:41 pm

“Gallos” are roosters, Spanish slang for the term “Boys Don’t Cry”.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on March 22, 2010 at 7:56 pm

I was going to say that the marquee on the 3/22 photo says “Chickens dont’t cry”, but I suspect that I am translating gallos incorrectly.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on March 22, 2010 at 7:07 pm

Joe, that thirties remodel was strictly cosmetic. Wometco took it over and made it look more contemporary with Art Deco touches.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on August 29, 2009 at 8:31 pm

Here is a photo circa early 1960s:
http://tinyurl.com/ll3w2s

Harvey
Harvey on April 11, 2009 at 2:00 pm

1981 photo of the Tower here.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 6, 2009 at 4:58 am

The Tower Theatre was rebuilt in 1937. I don’t know if it was a ground-up rebuilding or merely an extreme remodeling job. An article about Wometco Theatres in the April 16, 1938, issue of Boxoffice Magazine mentioned in passing that Robert E. Collins had been the architect for the rebuilding of the Tower Theatre the previous year.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on March 31, 2009 at 12:26 am

The Tower opened in 1926 and recently hosted screenings for the Miami Film Festival.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on January 8, 2009 at 3:12 pm

This is now the oldest operating movie theatre in South Florida.

miamiguy
miamiguy on October 5, 2007 at 2:56 am

…[chuckle]…

As Al pointed out, “anti-Castro” is putting it mildly.

More Tower Theatre info here.

“When it opened in December of 1926, it was Robdendon Corporation’s newest theater and cost $110,000.”

“On October 3, 1931 the Tower Theater re-opened following extensive remodeling under the leadership of renowned architect Robert Law Weed.”

ClaudiaO
ClaudiaO on July 19, 2007 at 12:02 am

I have wonderful memories of the Tower Theater…we lived just a few blocks away in the 50s and I remember the magical light blue neon tower in the night sky from our back yard. Later, I went to Saturday mantinees…two features, cartoon and serial for (I think) 15 cents. It was a special time in a special place. After the movies we would go to the nearby Royal Castle for hamburgers and birch beer….the hobby shop … the camera store and Green’s Drug Store. China City, Miami’s best Chinese restauarnt, was right there too. Across the street there was a gas station (PURE??) that had a monkey in a cage on the property …. Down the street was the Puritan Ice Cream Store with the best hot fudge sundaes (21 cents) that were ever created! Ah…the good ol' days.

ClaudiaO

MoonScorch
MoonScorch on March 14, 2007 at 4:56 am

Does anybody know anything about a former Strand Theatre in Miami?

One morning while communting from my home in Hollywood down to my job in Coral Gables, I decided to avoid the terrible traffic on I-95 and find some avenue that ran parallel to the interstate. And somewhere between NW 29th Street and NW 14th Street along NW 7th Avenue I found a small theatre with a marquee and classic double doors. It was labeled the STRAND with the S having fallen off some time ago. It currently seems to be a small church/prayer home now. I will try to take some pictures of it. Can anybody here identify what part of town/neighborhood we would call this area? It’s definitely industrial and very poor. Perhaps that might help with some research (where I’m finding NO luck).

Harvey
Harvey on February 16, 2007 at 1:36 am

Quick shot of the Tower in video news footage during the doc “COCAINE COWBOYS”.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on January 19, 2007 at 1:01 pm

I beg to differ.

This is no “cosmopolitan gentrified” Harlem neighborhood. Domino park has been the gathering spot for politicised anti-Castro retirees for years including many Bay of Pig veterans and more recently, anti-Sadinista activists.

I see no shame in this fact as many Miami exiles share those feelings. Most recently the center of this movement has moved to the younger and more vocal crowds that hang out at the popular Versailles Restaurant on Calle Ocho and 36th Street. Even president Bush has visited that location where effigies of Castro and Chavez have been burned.

I grew up in this neighborhood and am a Cuban-American and that park helped define the Tower’s audience for years. Movies from Cuba were not welcomed at the Tower although they play other South Florida neighborhoods without incident.