Cinema 10 at the Miracle Center
3301 Coral Way,
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This theater stood out in the South Florida first-run theater landscape when it opened in March 1989. It was technically a tri-level structure within the Miracle Center mall, which opened up at the same time at 3301 Coral Way, right next door to the Gables Triple on what was once the site of a Grand Union grocery store. The two theaters actually co-existed between March and May 1989 before Gables Triple shuttered up for good.
The ground floor of the theater was located on the mall’s middle level, and housed the twin box offices, a small lobby mainly used to display the posters of current and upcoming releases, and the main theater manager office.
Patrons had a choice of either an elevator or escalator to transport them up the second level, which housed the concession stand and ten auditoriums that were extended across two long hallways. The third level housed the general manager’s office and another smaller office, along with the concession items storage room on one end of the structure; and the popcorn storage room, employee uniform room, utility room, and the enormous projectionist facilities along the other end of the structure.
I worked at this theater from June 25, 1989 to June 25, 1992. I started two days after the premiere of “Batman”, in the ultimate baptism by fire. Box office lines stretched halfway down the entire second level of the mall. We also hosted the midnight premiere of “Dick Tracy” in June 1990 with a racous but fun crowd.
The theater opened up in March 1989 with a week of bargain-priced showings of one to two year-old movies such as “License to Drive”. First-run movies were on by mid-March and were the staple until its sudden closing in October 1999.
The staff and management were extraordinary. A salute to Michael Doss, Barry Catoe, Manny Arce, Youseff Besisso (who went on to do a terrific job at the Riviera Theater), Todd Pierce, Toni Paris, Ana Romano, Raul Gonzales, Peter Romero, Richard Iglesias, Danny Wong, and Edith Quinto, all managers and/or co-workers who went on to management.
Even the City of Miami police officers who worked their off-duty shifts with us on weekends were characters in and of themselves. A salute to Officer Gary Green and Sergeant Eddie Blanco in particular, two cops who were a riot to work with because of their unique sense of humor.
A greeting as well to all of the crazies who served as my co-workers throughout the years and the mall patrons who became regular staples at the theater.
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