Carib Theatre

230 Lincoln Road,
Miami Beach, FL 33139

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Carib Theatre auditorium

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Opened on December 22, 1950, this Wometco flagship site had a moving ceiling that exposed the lobby garden to the sun.

Designed by architect Michael DeAngelis, with architect Roy F. France as associate, this was one of Florida’s best theaters and yet was allowed to deteriorate. It closed in 1977 and was gutted in 1979. The building stood as a shopping arcade of sorts until it was demolished in December 2015.

Contributed by Al Alvarez

Recent comments (view all 22 comments)

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 30, 2011 at 10:18 pm

I doubt it, Luis. It was a mini-mall for years.

rivest266 on October 16, 2011 at 5:12 pm

December 22nd Grand opening ad has been placed in the photo section.

Preston33154 on March 6, 2013 at 10:00 am

I just passed by this place yesterday—always wondered what it was… I thought that it was a former theatre—Miami Beach and the beach cities are littered with former theatres—all mostly converted into shopping of some sort—so I googled it. And found some information, including the “shopping mall” floor plan. It matches the current facade; very 70’s. I’ve lived in Miami Beach for 22y. And it was always covered and noted as “American Trade Center”. Now even that is boarded-over! (The current owner is still noted as “American Trade Center” and not for sale! But they’re paying the $90k in annual taxes. And it closed nearly 30y ago!)

Sad that the wonderful ‘underwater’ architecture was totally demolished. (supposing by the latest floorplan). Maybe someday I can sneak into that very-well boarded-up building!

fosterdeux on September 12, 2013 at 1:54 pm

The somewhat sad new plans for the Carib.

aeterna on December 16, 2015 at 3:46 pm

This needs to be moved to the demolished category. In the last few weeks, the building has been completely razed. Although Wometco closed the doors in ‘75. Leroy Griffith took over operations for at least another year or two until at least 1977. The plans are tentatively in place for a Ross store to open in May 2016.

aeterna on January 2, 2016 at 1:35 am

Orson Welles “Compulsion” in 1959

David_Schneider on January 10, 2016 at 6:54 pm

I was startled to see it had been demolished when I walked by on December 30th, 2015. Several times over the years I used to gaze at the tall rectangular shape that was all that was left of the fa├žade and imagine what the Carib may have been like in its day.

Based on photos I’ve seen and stories I’ve heard, this is one of the theaters I have felt I missed out on by not getting to visit. I believe an older person told me they even kept a pet parrot in the interesting lobby, if I understood correctly.

I noticed the demolition revealed some sort of old fashioned ad for a business painted on the wall on the right of the now open space.

Wow, check out this short b&w Youtube video of the Carib called World Premiere At Miami Beach Of “Sweet Bird Of Youth” (1962):

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 10, 2016 at 7:22 pm

I was fortunate enough to have visited several times as a kid. This place was extraordinary. Although I don’t remember a parrot, the lobby was a Caribbean tropical dream with real plants, pools and a skylight roof. A parrot would not have been out of place.

aeterna on January 12, 2016 at 9:09 am

There were numerous statues that were in the lobby as well. Ex Miami Beach mayor Leonard Haber was involved with the development of the Carib Mall that replaced the theater (Most of the theater interior was gutted by 1979) Haber salvaged some of the statues from the lobby and had a professional sculptor restore them and had them installed in his home.

David_Schneider on April 28, 2016 at 2:16 pm

I remember reading years ago in the Miami Herald that a time capsule with items associated with a premier at one of the now defunct Lincoln Road cinemas had been found during road work.

I Googled and found this article from the Sun Sentinel:

For some reason I remember reading or assuming that the capsule had been found on the pedestrian part of Lincoln Road, (maybe I saw some road work being done on the pedestrian part around that time so I thought that’s where they found it?), but the article says the items were associated with a premier at the Carib.

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