Coral Ridge Theatre

3339 N. Federal Highway,
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33306

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Coral Ridge Theatre Ad 1967

Viewing: Photo | Street View

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”.

Contributed by Al Alvarez

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

sporridge on June 30, 2007 at 8:39 pm

Just as the Coral Ridge Twin essentially replaced the downtown Ft. Lauderdale movie houses shuttered by Florida State in the 60s, AMC Coral Ridge 10 across the street (behind the mall) spelled its demise circa 1987/88 — along with FS sucessors Plitt/Cineplex Odeon’s simultaneous exit from the South Florida market. Second-run operators briefly took over, but not even 50 cent admission on a Friday night drew many takers.

A plain-looking box, to be sure, but home to quite a few premiere and exclusive engagements in its glory days. Briefly catered to alt fare audeinces in the mid 80s, even more so upon the closing of the nearby Manor Art Cinema in 1987.

The building and its adjoning retail area along U.S. 1 still stand, the theatre space since converted to nightclub use.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on December 27, 2009 at 5:09 pm

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

ChasSmith on October 25, 2011 at 8:08 am

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 on July 20, 2012 at 8:09 pm

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 20, 2012 at 9:08 pm

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.

sporridge on July 21, 2012 at 8:57 am

Sources for my comment of July 20:,2355905&dq=claughton+theaters&hl=en,1851583&dq=claughton+theaters&hl=en

ChasSmith on July 21, 2012 at 9:30 am

Thank you both for the updates!

bobbydeerfield on October 11, 2012 at 2:30 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 on March 5, 2017 at 11:14 am

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

rivest266 on March 26, 2017 at 2:27 pm

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

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