Dade Theatre

1657 NW 36th Street,
Miami, FL 33142

Unfavorite 1 person favorited this theater

Showing 21 comments

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 3, 2015 at 11:50 am

I haven’t been able to discover the architect of the Dade Theatre, but according to the January 3, 1941, issue of The Film Daily the contractors were the A. G. Witters Company. The Internet says there is still a Witters Construction Company operating in Hialeah, but I can’t find a web site for it. I don’t know if it’s the same company, but even if it is it seems unlikely they’d still have the records of a project built 75 years ago.

As for the style, from the one photo we have it appears to have been the basic Streamline Modern typical of most of the theaters built in 1940.

The Dade was in operation at least as late as 1954, when the October 2 issue of Boxoffice reported that it was getting a new manager, Allen Armstrong, formerly of the San Marco Theatre in Jacksonville. However, the house didn’t last much longer. The May 28, 1955, issue of Boxoffice reported that the Dade Theatre was being razed and would be replaced by a store and office building. The replacement building has apparently been demolished as well, and replaced by an apartment house called Friendship Tower.

TheALAN on March 30, 2015 at 10:29 pm

Why are all of these other theaters discussed here? The topic here is the Dade Theatre. Please, these other theaters have their own pages!

TheALAN on March 30, 2015 at 10:08 pm

Who was the architect and in what style was the Dade Theatre designed? When did it close and when was it demolished?

Louis of Pompano
Louis of Pompano on December 17, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Wow, who got the pic? AWESOME!!!!!

rivest266 on October 17, 2011 at 3:37 pm

The November 28th, 1940 grand opening ad has been uploaded in the photo section as well as the picture on this page.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on April 5, 2009 at 1:05 pm

This theatre appears in the Miami Herald ads from 1940 to 1955.

OldDocFred on August 27, 2008 at 5:40 pm

I’m pretty sure it did. As I said, I won a Halloween costume contest there so we must have been up high enough for people to see us. But, since I was only six or so at the time, I could be mistaken.

Louis of Pompano
Louis of Pompano on August 27, 2008 at 5:21 pm


Do you remember if the Strand had a stage?

Louis of Pompano
Louis of Pompano on August 27, 2008 at 5:15 pm

Although I liked the Olympia, the Beach, Miami, and Carib theatres get my vote for the most impressive!

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 27, 2008 at 9:43 am

Fred, it is listed as Gusman; /theaters/77/

If a site still has some use as a theatre of any kind it is listed under its current name.

OldDocFred on August 27, 2008 at 9:31 am

Al & Louis,

I see pictures of the Olympia in Al’s photo album, but no mention of it in the list of theaters. Since it was the grande dame of Miami showplaces, I would have thought there would be a lot about it.

Fred R.

Louis of Pompano
Louis of Pompano on August 26, 2008 at 9:20 pm


I remember the 2nd box office at the rear of the Miami theatre. It did exist. I always thought it was weird that the theatre had 2 entrances. I never saw that box office in use.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 26, 2008 at 9:02 pm

Thank you again, Fred, for your contribution.

Miami needs guys like you to fill in the pieces. This city moves too fast. Please keep the memories coming.

OldDocFred on August 26, 2008 at 7:39 pm

The Miami theater downtown never had a separate area that I ever knew about. In fact, there were no downtown theaters that were ever anything but white only. Black only theaters were in the ghetto areas such as what is now called “Over town.” The only “mixed” theater I ever attended was one in Key West. Don’t remember the name. It was a very dilapidated affair. There was no theater seating. Instead, there was a collection of wicker rockers, straight back kitchen chairs, etc. Blacks were segregated to the balcony. I remember how it sagged in the middle as though ready to collapse. I don’t know about the Sunset. I used to pass by on the way to an uncle’s house in South Miami, but I never went in. The “South Miami Theater” rings no bells. Fred R. Jackson ‘52

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 26, 2008 at 6:20 pm

Thanks for those great memories, Fred.

Two questions that you may recall or know the answer to:

1) Did the Miami downtown ever have a separate “negro” box office and entrance?

2) Was the Sunset Theatre off U.S 1 in South Miami ever knwonwas the South Miami Theatre?

OldDocFred on August 26, 2008 at 5:36 pm

I should have previewed my previous message. I neglected to say that I went to the contest dressed as a wounded soldier with that sign around my neck. Sorry. It’s “Old timer’s disease” I guess.

Fred R. Jackson ‘52

OldDocFred on August 26, 2008 at 5:31 pm

No. I now live in Texas and yes I do have info on the Strand. I tried to send a comment last night, but got rejected twice. I’ll now try again. During WWII I lived at 14th ave. and 21st Terrace. My parents would occasionally take me to the Strand. It was another theater in the more modern mode like the Dade and Town. I can remember the roller rink adjacent on the south side of 7th ave. On Friday and Saturday nights you would have to push your way through the skaters crowding the sidewalk. They often would have dish nights where they would give free dishes with an admission ticket. My most vivid memory was a Halloween costume contest right after the start of WWII. I wore a sign around my neck that said, “Yeah, but you should have seen what I did to Hitler! I won. Fred R. Jackson ‘52.

Louis of Pompano
Louis of Pompano on August 26, 2008 at 5:17 pm


Do you still live in Miami? Do you have any info on The Strand on NW 7th Avenue?

OldDocFred on August 26, 2008 at 4:58 pm

I too, frequented the Dade and Regent in Allapattah beginning in WWII. The Dade was located on the north side of 36th street just east of 17th ave. There was a drug store on the corner, then the Dade and then the Western Auto. On the south side on the southeast corner was a Royal Castle. Just east of it was a newspaper and magazine stand.I don’t remember the names of any of these other businesses.
The best thing about the Dade was that they gave free passes on Fridays and Saturdays to members of the school safety patrols. I was the Captain for Comstock Elementary so I took advantage of this perq quite often. That’s about all I can remember, but if you have any other questions I might answer just ask. Fred R. Jackson Class of ‘52

Louis of Pompano
Louis of Pompano on August 26, 2008 at 2:05 pm


Just had an email correspondence with a guy who is familiar with both the Dade & Regent’s theates of the Allapatah area.

The Dade was completed after WWII. The theatre was just east of the old Western Auto store on NW 36th Street. Apparently the theatre has large seats able to accomodate 2 people or as they put it “larger patrons”. Given the ample seats, the Dade was a very popular place with the younger kids who frequented the theatre on weekends. As I understand it, it was a very popular place to take a date!

This theatre was very short lived. I can tell you that in 1960 none of these two theatres were around.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 9, 2008 at 10:05 am

The Dade was open until 1950 and perhaps later.