Rex Art Theatre

7920 NE 2nd Avenue,
Miami, FL 33138

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Opened as the Rosetta Theatre in 1926 for Wometco Enterprises. It was located on NE 2nd Avenue just south of 79th Street, in the area known as Little River.

The latter days of this theatre was as an adult movie house and it closed in 1972. The overall looks of the marquee and theatre’s main entrance suggested it was a classic movie house at one time.

Contributed by Louis Jimenez

Recent comments (view all 19 comments)

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 27, 2008 at 10:41 am

I think this was the New King when it tried running blaxploitaion in 1972.

Louis of Pompano
Louis of Pompano on August 27, 2008 at 5:36 pm

The theatre’s name was changed to Rex Theatre in the earlier 70’s. I saw “Last House on the Left” there. They tried the non-porn theatre approach, but it didn’t fly.

The Little River area went down hill in the 70’s. Porn dominated all of the theatres of the area. I can’t remember any regular theatres in Little River that had not been converted to porn. In addition to the theatres there were several Adult Book Stores, and a small mini theatre called “The Little Adult Theatre” which was right on NW 79th Street one block West of Biscayne on the south side of the street.

During those years, Little River was “Manhattan’s 42nd Street” of Miami. This is where most of the adult businesses were located. This changed once the Little River area became “Little Haiti”. The area cleaned up pretty good.

The establishment that survived the area’s porn flair, was the Playboy Club, which was there until the mid 80s. Ellis Ruben’s law office took over that building when the Playboy Club was closed.

Harvey on March 31, 2009 at 9:47 pm

Ad for the Rex/Second Ave Art/Rosetta in its KING ART CINEMA incarnation.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on March 31, 2009 at 10:54 pm

Here is how I see it:

Rosetta 1926-1971
2nd Avenue Art – 1972-73
King Art – 1973
Rex Art -1974-1984

Burwell on April 1, 2009 at 9:55 pm

When I was in elementary school (Little River elementary 1957-1959) I never missed a Saturday matinee at the Rosetta. There would be a movie, sometimes a serial, and a scad of cartoons, all for a quarter. I saw my first horror movie (“House on Haunted Hill”), “7th Voyage of Sinbad,” “Forbidden Planet,” Northwest Passage,“ "Inn of the 6th Happiness.”

I remember it as being fairly run-down even back then. I don’t recall much of a snack bar. There was a soda machine that sold lukewarm off-brand sodas in little cups. If you pushed 2 buttons at once you could mix them into something even more awful.

I remember that the 79th St, Art Theatre was around the corner near Larry’s Luncheonette. I used to try to figure out what was going on there by the posters, but it was all pretty mysterious,

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on April 2, 2009 at 9:00 am

G. Burwell, I remember those little soda cups from the Wometco Vending machines at the Miami Theatre Downtown in the sixties. Sometimes the cup would flip upside down as it dropped and the soda (RC Cola?) would simply spill into the drain. Sometimes there was some ice first, most of which promptly bounced out of the cup as well when it dropped.

Harvey on April 11, 2009 at 3:01 am

1985 photos of the Rex here and here.

1511 on October 10, 2012 at 8:04 am

I Remember Buying Cigarettes In The Machine In The Lobby And Getting Three Pennies Change Back Inside The Cellophane Of The Pall Mall Package. To Sit In The Smoking Section I Had To Pay An Extra 25 cents. What A ‘Funky’ Smell The Carpeting Throughout The Theater Had … WHEW!

tzwicky on May 21, 2013 at 7:39 pm

Back when a 12-YO kid could ride his bike from El Portal to Little River and see an afternoon of films, the Rosetta was it. The balcony, even back then (late 1960s to early 1970s) was where the stoners would sit. Sad when the theatre went adult and then closed.

nephilim on October 2, 2019 at 2:38 pm

I remember the lobby cigarette machine and the three-penny change it returned inside the package cellophane. Like it was yesterday… How about Grable’s Bakery next door and the C & C diner directly across the street? The Rosetta was my home away from home. How I loved the movies! And the hamburgers at Royal Castle after the picture broke and I hopped the bus home to Miami Shores. Thanks for the memories!

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