Coral Ridge Theatre

3339 N. Federal Highway,
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33306

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Coral Ridge Theatre Ad 1967

This simple neighborhood theatre was opened June 13, 1963. It was adequately twinned by ABC Florida State Theatres on December 24, 1976 and was home to several Ft. Lauderdale exclusives including “The Exorcist” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”. It was closed in 1988 and became a sports bar and finally a strip club. It was demolished in May/June 2018.

Contributed by Al Alvarez

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on December 28, 2009 at 1:09 am

The ABC Coral Ridge opened in 1963, was twinned in 1977 and closed in 1988.

ChasSmith
ChasSmith on October 25, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Loved going to movies here from 1963 to 1967 when it was new and a single screen: “Help!”, “Lady in a Cage”, “Mirage”, “You Only Live Twice”, the filmed-on-stage D'oyly Carte production of “The Mikado”, and I’m sure many others.

On a visit to Fort Lauderdale years later I was sad to find it had long since been a nightclub (“Baja”?). Is that, or anything else, still operating in the building now?

The Coral Ridge, Sunrise Cinemas, and the Plantation were THE modern theaters there in the mid-60s. I look back on these with a special fondness.

sporridge
sporridge on July 21, 2012 at 4:09 am

Local chain Claughton Theaters initiated construction (at $250,000) of the Coral Ridge, but sold the venue to Florida State shortly before opening in June 1963 with “The Nutty Professor.” Florida State’s purchase required the approval of the US Justice Department, under terms of the Consent Decree. Original seating was for 1,000, with 42 inches' leg room between rows. The Coral Ridge’s debut happened simultaneously with the closing of Florida State’s Warnor in nearby downtown Ft. Lauderdale. (From various pages in a search of “Claughton Theaters” on Google News' The Miami News archives.)

Cinemark Theaters took a brief turn at running the Coral Ridge in its final days, their sole entry in the South Florida market until their purchase of several Muvico megaplexes.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 21, 2012 at 5:08 am

sporridge, this is very interesting information. Where did you get it from?

I often suspected Claughton may have been a phantom operator for Paramount Theatres after the Consent Decrees and you may have found the source.

ChasSmith
ChasSmith on July 21, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Thank you both for the updates!

bobbydeerfield
bobbydeerfield on October 11, 2012 at 10:30 pm

Unbelievable ad! My mother dropped my brother and I off at the Coral Ridge in 1967 to watch Brighty of the Grand Canyon. I remember the theater more fondly than the film.

rivest266
rivest266 on March 5, 2017 at 7:14 pm

This opened on December 24th, 1976 as a twin cinema. Ad in the photo section.

rivest266
rivest266 on March 26, 2017 at 10:27 pm

June 13th, 1963 grand opening ad in the photo section.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on June 25, 2018 at 2:29 am

Construction photo added courtesy of Dave Votau. It was apparently a strip club in it’s final years.

sporridge
sporridge on June 25, 2018 at 3:07 am

With a new shopping center planned for the site, the former Florida State ABC Coral Ridge and its surrounding retail spaces were demolished in May/June 2018, 30 years after its end as a movie theatre. The building subsequently became a sports bar, then a strip club.

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