Normandy Theatre

7401 Collins Avenue,
Miami Beach, FL 33141

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Normandy Theatre Miami Beach

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The Normandie Theatre opened in 1948, and it later had the spelling of its name changed to Normandy Theatre. It was a mid-sized theatre that was located on Collins Avenue directly across from the Surf Theatre in Miami Beach.

At one time owned by Claughton (a small chain of theatres in Miami), it was later taken over by the Wometco chain. I remember little about this house except that it usually played first run films.

Contributed by bobb

Recent comments (view all 17 comments)

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on July 11, 2007 at 7:38 am

As the Wometco NORMANDY, it hosted the World Premiere of Jackie Mason’s film THE STOOLIE in 1972. It was to be his one starring vehicle to date and a John Avildsen film, to boot.

shoeshoe14
shoeshoe14 on September 27, 2007 at 4:11 pm

I just saw this theatre. My grandparents drove me down to Miami Beach for the first time and at his crawl, I was able to look back and forth for theatres. On the way back north I caught this one and memorized the streets. Just mapquested it and then cross-referenced and found it here. Not many theatres or old ones on this strip of A1A/Collins Avenue.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on April 27, 2008 at 11:35 am

Normandy with a ‘Y’ was the name of this theatre for most of its history. The ‘IE’ name was not used after the mid-fifties.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on April 27, 2008 at 1:17 pm

The first sentence of the introduction would be clearer if it said something like “The theatre first opened in the late 1940s as the Normandie and later had its spelling changed to Normandy.” I suspect that “Normandie” was inspired by the famous Normandie art cinema in New York City, which was named after the legendary French ocean liner.

Harvey
Harvey on April 11, 2009 at 6:26 am

1985 photo of the Normandy here.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on July 13, 2009 at 2:56 pm

This theatre was opened as the NORMANDY by Claughton in 1948. In 1961 Wometco took it over and changed the policy to art films and the name to NORMANDIE, most likely for the reason Warren mentions above.

In 1971 the name was changed back to NORMANDY. It stopped showing films in 1988.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 22, 2009 at 4:28 am

The exact opening date of the Normandy Theatre was Wednesday, January 28, 1948, according to Boxoffice Magazine of January 31. Normandy was the spelling Boxoffice used. The house was locally owned and independently operated, the item said. The Normandy was air conditioned and would be open the year around, with a top admission price of 74 cents. The first manager was named Nat Hern.

The scan is not very clear, but it looks like Boxoffice gave the address as 1401 Collins Avenue.

The October 14, 1950, issue of Boxoffice said “The formerly-independent Normandy Theatre in Miami Beach appeared this week under the banner of the Claughton circuit. This brings to six the number of theatres now operated by Claughton in this area. The theatre is on a single-feature policy.” From the phrasing, and the fact that the first Boxoffice item said that the manager was not revealing anything about the owners of the house except that they were operating as the Normandy Theatre Company, it’s possible that Claughton owned the place all along and just wasn’t telling.

The sale of the Normandy to Wometco was noted in an August 7, 1961, Boxoffice item which said the house would be converted to an art policy. Among changes would be the addition of a turnstile at the entrance and the replacement of the concession stand by vending machines. An art theater with vending machines? Oh, Wometco!

Though I’ve tried, I’ve been unable to find any references in Boxoffice calling this house the Normandie Theatre. There’s a photo of the marquee in Boxoffice of March 8, 1976. The marquee doesn’t look like it had been updated since 1948. I’m wondering how they ever managed to squeeze squeezed an ‘IE" into the space occupied by that “Y.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 22, 2009 at 4:35 am

My link didn’t work. Boxoffice marquee photo should be here.

RLedford
RLedford on August 7, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Does anyone know what happened to Bill Brewer who was the manager of this theater?

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