Riviera Theatre

1560 South Dixie Highway,
Coral Gables, FL 33146

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Grand opening ad

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened on February 16, 1956, the Loew’s Riviera Theatre was one of the first shopping center suburban theatres in the country and the first new build allowed Loew’s after it’s divorce from MGM and the Paramount Consent Decrees. The Loew’s Riviera Theatre was well supported by it’s proximity to the University of Miami and the main traffic artery of US 1. The journey from downtown would have taken minutes in the 1950’s. The opening feature, “Picnic”, was dated with Radio City Music Hall. Seating in the single screen theatre was provided in orchestra and loge levels, with 216 seats in the loge (which was a smoking area). There were large murals of tropical plants along the auditorium side-walls.

I never went in when it became a five-plex, but the GCC twinning could only be described as criminal.

On a recent visit to Miami I saw an ad for the furniture showroom saying they would show a movie while you tried out the furniture. Might the projectors still be there?

Contributed by Al Alvarez

Recent comments (view all 24 comments)

cordboard
cordboard on July 6, 2009 at 8:16 pm

I attended the U of M starting in 1965. The freshman class orentation was held at Loews Riviera, due to the fact there was
no space at the University that could seat as many people in 1965.

It was always called Loews Riviera, and never just the Riviera. It was a wonderfully run single screen theatre.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on July 6, 2009 at 9:09 pm

Johnnie, this ended up being run by General Cinema, not Loews, for most of its existence.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 7, 2009 at 2:44 am

Architects of the Riviera were Peterson & Shuflin, according to the item about the opening in the February 18, 1956, issue of Boxoffice. Loew’s head Joseph R. Vogel (no relation) attended the opening.

Original plans and drawings of a Coral Gables theater designed by Peterson & Shuflin are in the J. Evan Miller Collection of Cinerama Theatre Plans at UCLA. The unnamed house must be the Riviera. I can’t find references to any other theaters designed by Peterson & Shuflin.

rivest266
rivest266 on January 17, 2010 at 6:02 pm

Preopening article with picture from the Sunday before

rivest266
rivest266 on January 17, 2010 at 6:02 pm

Let’s try that again, View link

rivest266
rivest266 on January 17, 2010 at 6:08 pm

Grand opening ad is at View link

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on April 21, 2010 at 10:37 pm

Nice opening day ad,Mike.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on June 23, 2010 at 10:48 pm

Here is an article, with plenty of photos, in Boxoffoce magazine from April 7, 1956:
View link

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on July 13, 2012 at 3:48 pm

New link to the article cited above by Gerald A. DeLuca: boxoffice

Ripshin
Ripshin on July 13, 2012 at 6:48 pm

OK, a portion of the original theater is now the Area Stage Company – Google for the web site. What confuses me, is what part of the original theater do they actually occupy? On the Google Street Map, it is clear that there are now windows on the top section of the old auditorium. Perhaps they lowered the ceiling, and created offices at the top? The Area Stage web site shows a large auditorium, but it seats only 275, but with a large “stage.” I’m guessing that it might be the old balcony, but extended. When I attended films there in the mid-80s, as a UM student – they had separated the balcony into two (?) other theaters. Does anybody know?

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