Colony Theatre

1040 Lincoln Road,
Miami Beach, FL 33131

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Showing 1 - 25 of 28 comments

rivest266
rivest266 on October 16, 2011 at 11:31 am

The January 25th, 1935 grand opening ad has been uploaded here.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on December 27, 2010 at 9:02 am

Thanks for all the Great looking pictures.AClassy theatre all the way.

PhillipPessar
PhillipPessar on December 27, 2010 at 7:00 am

A recent photo of the Colony Theater
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jeffsfonts
jeffsfonts on March 23, 2010 at 6:19 pm

I forgot to mention – if you look at the picture posted above – the wall on the left side of the image is where the original entrance was; pre-renovation build-out.

jeffsfonts
jeffsfonts on March 23, 2010 at 6:17 pm

I’ve seen old photos of the Colony with an entrance directly on Lincoln Road itself. It was probably in 1955 that Florida State Theaters remodeled it with it’s diagonal entrance from Lincoln Road to Lenox Avenue.

The above-the-marquee signage lost its Plexiglass panels after 1965’s Hurricane Donna… and I remember seeing pieces of it up and down Lenox Avenue. In 1967 I (and a high school buddy) got dressed up in sport jackets and ties to look older – and we actually got in (at the age of 15) to see the movie “Candy” at the Colony…

When I worked at Miami-Dade Community College in the late 1970’s, one of the members of the graphics department was Frank Spaulding, who had been an animator with Fleischer – both in New York and in Miami…

ralvin3
ralvin3 on March 22, 2010 at 4:26 pm

1961, my Mom and I saw Spartacus. It was quite an experience.

sporridge
sporridge on January 22, 2010 at 10:36 am

My guess would be that Miami Beach was more tourism oriented, and world premieres there would encourage word-of-mouth promotion when visitors returned to their respective hometowns. It’s also possible that “double world premieres” were arranged to meet extra demand.

The brief presence of the Fleischer Studios received substantial press in Miami; a generous sampling can be found in Leslie Cabarga’s book “The Fleischer Story” (out of print, but worth the money for animation history fans). Another animated feature, “Mr. Bug Goes to Town” and the first Superman cartoons were among Fleischer’s output there before Paramount withdrew their business.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on January 22, 2010 at 10:00 am

I never understood why some movies would open at two Miami Beach locations and not in Miami itself. Some would do the opposite.

Were they such distinct markets then even with common newspapers?

sporridge
sporridge on January 22, 2010 at 8:36 am

Another (co- with the Sheridan) world premiere of note was the Fleischer Studios' first feature film, “Gulliver’s Travels” (1939), produced at the company’s short-lived Miami headquarters. For a look at what the Studios became:

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rivest266
rivest266 on January 17, 2010 at 5:23 am

Al, Joe Vogel, Found the grand opening ad and article in the newspaper from January 25th, 1935 and you can see it at View link

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 22, 2009 at 12:23 am

On February 18, 1936, a little over a year after it opened, the Colony Theatre hosted the world premier of Walter Wanger’s “The Trail Of the Lonesome Pines,” the first dramatic feature film in full color. Two days later, the New York premier was presented at the Paramount Theatre there. Paramount Pictures congratulated itself with this two-page spread in Boxoffice Magazine of March 7, 1936.

The October 23, 1948, issue of Boxoffice reported another world premier at the Colony, that of the Ingrid Bergman-Charles Boyer movie “Arch of Triumph.”

A brief item in Boxoffice of September 23, 1950, mentioned “…Paramount’s Colony, Miami Beach, now called the Colony Art Theatre….” This name and policy change does not appear to have lasted long, and Boxoffice was again calling it simply the Colony Theatre by 1952.

The theater was apparently closed in late 1953. The November 12, 1955, issue of Boxoffice reported that the Colony would be reopened by Florida State Theatres on December 23 with the southeastern regional premier of “Guys and Dolls.” The house had been closed for two years, the item said, and was being refurbished and would be equipped for wide-screen movies.

After that, the Colony appears to have thrived as a first-run house, with occasional road shows, for a couple of decades, and was mentioned in Boxoffice frequently.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on May 5, 2008 at 2:18 pm

Colony opening program, January 1935.

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AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on April 17, 2008 at 4:03 am

“The Sound of Music” played for over a year at the Colony. Here is the 1965 Florida State Theatres Christmas ad.

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bornjaded
bornjaded on March 3, 2008 at 8:42 am

Much nicer since its upgrade. The only problem is how steep the stadium seating is. I went to see the only South Florida screening, on 35mm, of David Lynch’s ‘Inland Empire,’ and despite my $20 to $30 ticket price (don’t remember the cost, but the ticket price was almost as steep as the seating incline), I was given an assigned seat, way up top, which made sitting through this otherwise wonderful 3-hour film somewhat of a chore. Assigned seating for any film screening, unless you’re at high-profile film festival (many of which don’t even impose such a thing), is just snooty, and in this case — given the particularly uncultured region in which the Colony sits (Lynch didn’t trust this market for a regular run of his self-distributed film) — pretentious.

Warren G. Harris
Warren G. Harris on August 27, 2007 at 9:54 am

It should be mentioned in the introduction that the Colony had about 1,200 seats in its heyday as a cinema. The current seating capacity of 465 creates a false impression of what the original theatre building was like. Some multiplex “screens” have more than 465 seats.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on August 27, 2007 at 9:09 am

Opened as THE COLONY, SPARKS' NEW WONDER THEATRE on January 25, 1935 with CLIVE OF INDIA starring Ronald Colman and Loretta Young.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on July 17, 2007 at 2:31 am

Merry Christmas from Florida State Theatres, 1966.

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miamiguy
miamiguy on July 3, 2007 at 3:26 pm

A better photo is here

miamiguy
miamiguy on July 3, 2007 at 2:51 pm

About halfway down this page there’s a close-up of one of the figures on the Colony Theatre’s silver entry doors…

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Keiko
Keiko on June 26, 2007 at 4:39 am

InterAmerica Stage, Inc. took part in the demolition of the old rigging system and furnished the theatre with a new counterweight fly system, pin rails, fire safety curtain, motorized rigging, controls, draperies and track.

http://iastage.com/historical_renovations

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on March 13, 2007 at 8:05 pm

Stage, this would have been either Wynwood or Allapattah, most likely the latter. I show the Strand closed in the mid fifties and may served a blak community displaced by 1-95 eminient domain.

MoonScorch
MoonScorch on March 13, 2007 at 6:50 pm

Does anybody know anything about a former Strand Theatre in Miami?

One morning while communting from my home in Hollywood down to my job in Coral Gables, I decided to avoid the terrible traffic on I-95 and find some avenue that ran parallel to the interstate. And somewhere between NW 29th Street and NW 14th Street along NW 7th Avenue I found a small theatre with a marquee and classic double doors. It was labeled the STRAND with the S having fallen off some time ago. It currently seems to be a small church/prayer home now. I will try to take some pictures of it. Can anybody here identify what part of town/neighborhood we would call this area? It’s definitely industrial and very poor. Perhaps that might help with some research (where I’m finding NO luck).

woody
woody on May 17, 2006 at 10:25 pm

a couple of recent shots of the facade including a lobby shot (which must be a recent reconstruction as this area of the theatre was totally gutted a few years back during the extensive renovation – see the last photo)

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AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on May 11, 2006 at 3:31 am

In the sixties, the Colony was home to THE SOUND OF MUSIC on road show release. On it’s first anniversary, the managers sent the local critic an anniversary cake marking one year since he had written his scathing review of the film.

atlmike
atlmike on September 19, 2005 at 1:28 pm

An odd side-note to all of this: the exterior of the Colony is visible in the 1963 skin flick “Blaze Starr Goes Nudist”. Blaze, weary from working under hot studio lights, goes to a movie to relax. She watches a film about a nudist camp in Homestead (“why that’s just a few miles away”) and immediately decides to become a nudist. As Blaze leaves the theatre, fans crowd around her for her autograph, confirming for Blaze that it’s time to get away for a while and become a nudist. The theatre is clearly the Colony, although I don’t think the marquee is visible. “Blaze Starr Goes Nudist” is one of several early skin-flicks directed by Doris Wishman and filmed in Miami.