Normandy Theatre

7401 Collins Avenue,
Miami Beach, FL 33141

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Showing 1 - 25 of 26 comments

David_Schneider on March 13, 2018 at 2:01 pm

I visited North Beach yesterday. The Normandy is now Sola Salon Studios (as stated on the former cinema’s marquee), apparently a place where beauty salon practitioners can rent space to provide services to their clients.

The business on the corner next to what had been the Normandy’s entrance is now an active restaurant called Burgers & Shakes.

Funny, while walking down the sidewalk towards the building I thought of the footage taken from the angle at which I was approaching of people lining up to see “Star Wars” decades before in the Youtube video mentioned in aeterna’s August 1, 2017 comment. …. I crossed the street to look at the former Surf Theatre, then walked south again. As I reached the corner across from the Normandy a couple appeared from my right and the man was wearing a shirt with a depiction of Darth Vader’s mask.

aeterna on September 3, 2017 at 1:03 am

Photo of ticket booth and entrance way circa late 70s/early 80s:

aeterna on July 31, 2017 at 9:47 pm

Some footage of folks waiting in line for “Star Wars” @ the Normandy

aeterna on December 17, 2015 at 11:37 pm

A shot of the Normandy toward the end in 1987.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 17, 2015 at 7:52 pm

Ah, I didn’t notice the comment saying that Wometco didn’t take over until 1961.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on December 17, 2015 at 7:43 pm

The Normandy, like the Surf, were not opened by Wometco.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 17, 2015 at 7:22 pm

I suppose it’s possible that RKO had some kind of deal with Wometco for exclusive early run rights to the studio’s product in the region. RKO had quite a few prestigious theaters in major cities, but I don’t think the circuit as a whole was ever very large. Certainly nothing like Fox or Loew’s or Paramount, or even United Artists.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on December 17, 2015 at 6:52 pm

I don’t think RKO ever operated theatres in Florida.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 17, 2015 at 6:17 pm

Linkrot repair: The small photo showing part of the marquee of the Normandy Theatre in Boxoffice of March 8, 1976, is now here.

The NRHP registration form for the north Shore Historic District refers to this house as “(formerly the RKO Movie Theater, Albert Anis, 1947)” but I’ve been unable to find anything in the theater trade publications connecting the Normandy to RKO.

aeterna on December 16, 2015 at 1:49 pm

Bill Brewer married the other manager (Mrs Macintosh) who managed the Surf. Macintosh went on to manage another theater possibly in North Miami Beach. They were married for many years and Bill passed away several years back. Bob Northrop (or Northrup) took over from both Macintosh and Brewer for both theaters (Surf/Normandy) in the latter half of the 1980s until Wometco ultimately shuttered both theaters in the late 1980s. The property was purchased by Ranaan Katz (hence the RK logo)

jeffrey platt
jeffrey platt on February 2, 2015 at 5:33 am

I worked at the Normandy as an usher in the 1950’s. I remember putting up the marquee. as it happens the theater opened on my 5th birthday!

RLedford on August 7, 2010 at 1:08 pm

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

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 22, 2009 at 1:35 am

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

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 22, 2009 at 1:28 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.”

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 13, 2009 at 11:56 am

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.

Harvey on April 11, 2009 at 3:26 am

1985 photo of the Normandy here.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on April 27, 2008 at 8:35 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.

shoeshoe14 on September 27, 2007 at 1:11 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.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 11, 2007 at 4:38 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.

ghamilton on September 28, 2006 at 3:21 pm

Appears to be a less than prosperous production company.

woody on April 23, 2006 at 11:25 am

heres a couple of shots taken last week, still looking in great shape although it wasnt clear from looking into the lobby what it is being used for (offices or tv studio?)

View link

View link

tommyboy on August 28, 2005 at 8:37 am

I remember seeing Godfather there in 72 while on vacation!The manger was a nice Mrs. Katz.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 28, 2005 at 6:22 am

Listed in Film Daily Yearbook;1950 edition as the Normandie Theatre with 740 seats.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 28, 2005 at 2:35 am

This cinema was named Normandy in the seventies.

kelley on July 14, 2005 at 3:56 pm

The Surf Theatre, right across from the Normandie is being used as a gym.