Airdome

174 East Flagler Street,
Miami, FL 33131

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David_Schneider
David_Schneider on March 8, 2017 at 11:48 am

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.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on March 6, 2017 at 9:19 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 6, 2017 at 9:02 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?

Louis of Pompano
Louis of Pompano on March 3, 2017 at 3:30 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.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on March 3, 2017 at 2:00 pm

The Seminole website does say it was this one.

David_Schneider
David_Schneider on March 3, 2017 at 9:02 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 2, 2017 at 10:53 am

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.

Louis of Pompano
Louis of Pompano on March 2, 2017 at 10:14 am

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.

David_Schneider
David_Schneider on March 2, 2017 at 9:35 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?

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on March 1, 2017 at 1:26 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.

Louis of Pompano
Louis of Pompano on March 1, 2017 at 12:29 pm

Hey Al! I was going to comment on David’s post to let him know that you are the most knowledgeable theater guy I know! I relocated to Park City Utah back in July. Spent 59 years in Florida, I guess it was time for a small change, LOL!

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on March 1, 2017 at 12:01 pm

David, Pasta Attic (6917 West Flagler Street) seems to have only operated in 1997 and the google view makes it sure look like it was a restaurant.

David_Schneider
David_Schneider on March 1, 2017 at 10:26 am

Thanks Louis! Good to know people are seeing my posts. :)

I relate to a person’s desire to find out more about the first theater they attended, though I don’t have any exceptional resources: the Box Office article I got from a post by Al Alvarez; I live in Miami so I remembered coming across Isidor Cohen’s book while browsing the public library catalogue years ago, then when I Googled it recently in prep for posting on Cinema Treasures, it turned out the chapter about early cinemas was available online; therein is a reference to Kelly’s Theater, the first movie theater in Miami, and the building it was in, so I Googled those hoping for photos which instead turned up the name of a nearby hotel from those times and Googling for images of that lead to an article referencing the Air Dome next to Burdine’s and its photo; I know local historian Paul George from when I was his student and the first Seminole was mentioned during a tour he did of Homestead I took in the 90’s or early 00‘s; I own a copy of his book (the library has several) so I looked in it to see what he says about the Seminole and discovered a story of the Air Dome next to Burdine’s being the one that moved; I saw a Herald headline about the (second) Seminole Theatre reopening at the time that it did and found the article to be available online which turned out to include theater history and a reference to the Air Dome that moved being the first one at the address on this page. (Maybe the author of the Herald article got their info here on Cinema Treasures? :) )

So I don’t know any more about the Strand than what I learned from its Cinema Treasures page after suddenly encountering the former theater while driving past years ago.

All of the cinemas I frequented while growing up on Long Island are now gone, except the first one I ever visited in 1974, which is currently renovating.

Yes I get frustrated when I can’t find something on Google even after being pleasantly surprised by what I do find. For example I remember Pasta Attic Cinema being listed in the Miami New Times with the other theaters at some point back in the 90’s (when that paper used to list movie times) but can’t find anything about it online, which is annoying even though it was probably just a restaurant that decided to also try screening films.

I don’t know how to search a city’s building records, though I assume it involves visiting a government office unless they are accessible online. … How would I go about it if I someday want to?

Louis of Pompano
Louis of Pompano on February 23, 2017 at 11:43 am

Wow, great post! One of the theaters that I have great interest in, and for years have been trying to get information on is the old Strand Theater, which originally was known as the 7th Ave theater. According to Miami building records for the building, the year was 1926. At one point Wometco owned it, then it became independent, and as with all independent Miami theaters, it went to porn during the 60s & early to mid 70s.

To date I have not been able to find a picture of the theater when it was operational. I did manage to find some pictures of the inside during a church renovation, but even now, I think the church is no longer there.

From the info on your post, I can see that you either have resources, or know where to obtain the information. Google is great, but there are just some things that due to time, are just not on Google. I would like to get the Strand’s history and information completed on Cinema Treasures. The Strand was the first movie theater that I attended as a child in Miami circa 50 plus years ago, so it’s become a personal desire of mine, LOL!

David_Schneider
David_Schneider on February 23, 2017 at 11:07 am

Yet another Air Dome was located at 30 East Flagler Street next to Burdine‘s around 1913.

A paragraph on page 75 of the book “A Journey Through Time: A Pictorial History of South Dade” by Paul S. George says that Air Dome was disassembled in 1916 and moved south by railroad to become the first Seminole Theater in Homestead.

A Miami Herald article refers to the Air Dome that was moved to Homestead as being here at 174 East Flagler Street, which would be the first of the two mentioned above as having existed at this address. I vaguely remember one or two other people over the years beyond the Miami Herald article assume that this was the one that was moved.

Did the first one exist on this property, or are people confusing it with the Air Dome next to Burdine’s? Or where there three Air Domes?

By the way, check out this chapter entitled “Development of Miami’s Theaters” of the book “Historical Sketches And Sidelights Of Miami, Florida” by local author Isidor Cohen, printed in 1925.

And an article in the January 27, 1975 issue of Box Office: “Nickel Shows, Live Music, Tents: Miami’s Early Film Days Recalled”

Louis of Pompano
Louis of Pompano on May 2, 2010 at 6:45 pm

Al,

You always find the most interesting Miami pictures/facts I have ever seen. You are a master at research.

Louis of Pompano
Louis of Pompano on May 2, 2010 at 6:44 pm

Yes this is quite a different looking movie house. I think it is very unique inside. I noticed the wood benches! Wow, never seen anything like that. I have to wonder how long folks sat there without getting up to give their backs a rest!

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on March 4, 2010 at 2:33 pm

Cool looking place.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on June 1, 2009 at 11:30 am

Two views of the Airdome:

View link

Note the two different spellings (AIRDROME and AIRDOME) used at the entrance. I have submitted “Airdome” as that was the most common listing.