Airdome

174 East Flagler Street,
Miami, FL 33131

Unfavorite 1 person favorited this theater

Airdrome  1921

Viewing: Photo | Street View

In operation from 1918 to 1926, this was the second of two Airdome Theatres on the current site of Gusman Hall.

The Leach Family who owned this eventually partnered with Famous Players-Lasky to form the Miami branch of Paramount-Publix.

Contributed by Al Alvarez

Recent comments (view all 20 comments)

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on March 1, 2017 at 3:26 pm

Hi Louis. You are retiring backwards!

David has uncovered some great Miami history that has been news to me. That is why I love this site.

David_Schneider
David_Schneider on March 2, 2017 at 11:35 am

Thank you Al! Some of the sources of historical info I have found online may be more recent than your original Cinema Treasures posts, so I’m turning up things from pages that didn’t exist yet when you started on Cinema Treasures. Also since I still live here I come across references to early Miami history offline.

Sometime I’ll look in the microfilm of the 1997 New Times in the Main Library and see if I can find the Pasta Attic listing I remember, since I see only old articles viewable on the New Times website, not also ads or movie listings. ‘97 feels about right. Wow, how did you find out it was ‘97?

Louis, did you attend the Sundance Film Festival?

Al: On the Olympia Theatre Cinema Treasures page it says the first Hippodrome was at 174 East Flagler Street (and the Florida Theatre page says the second Hippodrome was later at 205 East Flagler across the street.)

Was the first Airdome that you mentioned in the description for this page really the first Hippodrome? How did you hear about the first Airdome at 174 East Flagler?

Louis of Pompano
Louis of Pompano on March 2, 2017 at 12:14 pm

Yes I went to the Sundance Film Festival on 4 different days, it was very nice, and very crowded. In Park City we have one original theater, The Egyptian. The rest of the theaters are all newer venues. Next year we are going to pre-buy tickets, which is the best thing to do if you want to see any of the films.

If you plan to fly here, it is best to get all reservations once the dates have been announced. Flights, hotels, and cars are very expensive. Park City is about 45 minutes from SLC. I advice to shop around as prices get insane during this time. Normal hotel rates of $50 per day, can be as high as $550, and we are not talking 5 star hotels, or first class flights! So, plan early.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on March 2, 2017 at 12:53 pm

David, I stumbled onto the Pasta Attic listing while looking at some old movie time clocks and jotted down the year. I couldn’t find it in other years.

I believe the item about the old Hippodrome (pre-1913)being on the Olympia location came from a Miami Herald article when the Olympia building was almost torn down. That Hippodrome became the Airdome (1915),Colonial (1916) and Airdrome (1917-1926) before being torn down for the Olympia.

David_Schneider
David_Schneider on March 3, 2017 at 11:02 am

Thanks Louis. I may go to Sundance sometime. Also I kinda liked Salt Lake City when I visited in August of 2012.

Al, if I can’t find a ‘97 time clock to look at I may ask you for a photo of one listing Pasta Attic. :) (Back then I was going to check the place out, then it disappeared.) If it was mostly a restaurant, it probably doesn’t “qualify” for a Cinema Treasures page.

Ha, oh well. :) I was hoping to “solve the case” of which Air Dome was the one that moved. If Paul George’s book is correct, it was the one next to Burdine’s. (Maybe he didn’t know about the Olympia property Airdome when he wrote the book in the 90’s, so he assumed it was the Burdine‘s one?) Articles online say the Airdome that moved first became the two-story Colonial, which your sources say was at this address, before moving. And the building that was reconstructed in Homestead arrived as a two-story building from what I understand, like the Landmark Hotel it is today, while to me the photo of the one next to Burdine’s looks perhaps too small to have gone on to become the first Seminole, (unless 1910’s photography distorts sizes).

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on March 3, 2017 at 4:00 pm

The Seminole website does say it was this one.

Louis of Pompano
Louis of Pompano on March 3, 2017 at 5:30 pm

Wow great link Al. The theater vertical sign of the Seminole is very similar to the Strand’s. Longer name, but the setup is the same. The major difference is that the Strand had it’s marquee directly below the vertical sign, both were tied together as far as I can remember. The Strand also had a ticket booth in front of the doors, which was removed when the non-porn version of the Strand closed. The Strand marquee had neon, but underneath, the lights that lit up the sidewalk leading to the booth were all light bulbs.

David_Schneider
David_Schneider on March 6, 2017 at 11:02 am

Yeah I guess I can “give my brain permission” to stop pondering the which Air Dome/Airdome was moved question.

Looks like the website for the second Seminole Theatre used the wording of the Herald article I had read back when it reopened and created a page for its history that was not there when I first explored the website in early 2016.

Btw, I toured the second Seminole during the earlier stages of restoration/remodeling at an open house event they held but have not yet gone back to see a show.

New question: Are there any cinemas in the 1910’s style of the Airdrome pictured above still operating anywhere, with a lot of pre-marquee signage out front? Or are there any more recently built designed to replicate this experience?

The Old Daisy Theater in Memphis still exists as a venue for live performances.

And here are some more vintage photos of other examples in the past: Galax, Savoy, Uno, Downtown.

Is this called “Nickelodeon style”? I call it “Come see the picture show” style. : ) Does it have its own architecture style category on Cinema Treasures?

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on March 6, 2017 at 11:19 am

David, there is always a risk that the Seminole web designer is reading all of the same comments and perpetuating what we now call “alternative facts”.

I don’t think there is a name for pre-marquee displays other than “showmanship”. Here is my favorite of those.

David_Schneider
David_Schneider on March 8, 2017 at 1:48 pm

Yes, people could be using what we post on Cinema Treasures as their source of info, then when we see them saying the same things we believe they are backing up our information when they actually got it from us. : )

Yes, showmanship. I thought of that word a month ago but had forgotten. To me it feels like there should be an outgoing person standing out front saying something like “Ladies & gentlemen, step right up! Have we got a show for you!”

Wow, thanks for that link to the Bijou. This photo is great.

Guess I’m hoping for a way to see a list of such cinemas the way we can see lists by architectural style, so I was asking about “Nickelodeon style“ when part of it is the advertising placed in front of the building, not the style of the building‘s construction.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater