Carib Theatre

230 Lincoln Road,
Miami Beach, FL 33139

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DrGaryDubler on October 27, 2016 at 3:33 pm

I was born and raised in Miami Beach and lived there most of my life. The Carib Theater was unique and gorgeous. The front wall of the theater had a huge map of the Caribbean above the marquee. The entrance promenade [yes! about 80 feet long & maybe 20 feet wide] had gold-veined mirrors on both the left & right sides, waterfalls [that misted visitors with cool water], a roof that opened to let sunlight in, and 3-4 multi-colored live parrots.

Once you passed the promenade there was an escalator [unheard of in a moviehouse in 1950] leading to the balcony. There were more ushers & lobby personnel to help you than in any other theater in all of Dade County. This was a place to dress up to go to the movies. Going to this theater was an event, yet it cost no more than any other theater.

There were other gorgeous theaters in Dade County. a few blocks down from the Carib were the Beach Theater & the Lincoln Theater. Down Washington Ave. was the Cinema Theater, which had been a Vaudeville Theater in the 20’s, with a completely Art Deco theme [if there’s interest, I’ll write about them.] Across the bay in Miami, the Olympia Theater was a showplace with a panorama of a cityscape surrounding the screen.

Gary Dubler

David_Schneider on April 28, 2016 at 11:16 am

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.

aeterna on January 12, 2016 at 6:09 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.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 10, 2016 at 4:22 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.

David_Schneider on January 10, 2016 at 3:54 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):

aeterna on January 1, 2016 at 10:35 pm

Orson Welles “Compulsion” in 1959

aeterna on December 16, 2015 at 12:46 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.

fosterdeux on September 12, 2013 at 10:54 am

The somewhat sad new plans for the Carib.

Preston33154 on March 6, 2013 at 7:00 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!

rivest266 on October 16, 2011 at 2:12 pm

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

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 30, 2011 at 7:18 pm

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

LuisV on April 10, 2011 at 3:58 pm

Just passed by the theater remnant last week. There is no mention at all on the posts above about the condition of the interior of thei theater. Yes, the marquee and beautiful Facade are gone but the huge theater structure remains. With the loss of the Lincoln Theatre down the road to become an H & M is this a “Hidden Gem” in Miami Beach?

rivest266 on January 17, 2010 at 7:37 am

Grand opening ad (for this theatre and the West Hollywood Drive-In) is at View link

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on April 26, 2008 at 8:10 pm

Here are new links to old Carib photos;

View link
View link

ThePhotoplayer on June 30, 2007 at 12:50 am

A picture of this theater may be found with an accompanying article from 1951 here:
View link

ghamilton on April 23, 2006 at 12:14 pm

Does anybody have a clue as to the condition of the hulk?This is clearly the largest theater space sitting in Miami Beach.

woody on April 23, 2006 at 11:47 am

heres a couple of shots taken last week of the former carib, sadly the wonderful frontage and marquee has gone, but the auditorium block still stands, the front is boarded up.

View link

Fdoner on October 22, 2005 at 6:52 am

There is an entire chapter devoted to the Carib theater in the book Miami Beach: Blueprint of an Eden, published by Feierabend Unique Books, Nov-Dec, 2005. Available on Amazon.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on October 15, 2005 at 2:45 am

An photo of the front of the Carib Theatre was printed in the New York Sunday Times Magazine of October 9th. The 1959 film The Best of Everything, with Joan Crawford and Hope Lange, appears on the marquee.

Fdoner on March 27, 2005 at 10:09 am

The architect for the Carib in Miami Beach is Michael J. DeAngelus, based in Rochester NY, who designed h;undreds of theatres all over th U.S. confirm this with him, if you like, at 716 325-3355.

William on December 18, 2003 at 2:37 pm

The Carib Theatre opened on December 22nd, 1950, the architects of the theatre were Michael DeAngelis and associate Roy France.

bbin3d on December 11, 2003 at 12:30 pm

Growing up in Miami,I often attended this beautiful theatre as a child. I remember the lush tropical lobby garden complete with running streams and parrots. The auditorium was spectacular with rocking chair seats and lighted maps of the Caribbean on the walls. It had a giant screen to show CinemaScope films (mostly 20th FOX films). You can catch a glimpse of this beautiful theatre’s marquee in a featurette that is included on one of the DVD’s in the first Marilyn Monroe box set. I believe its at the premiere of THE GLENN MILLER STORY. I think the Carib (I believe it was built in 1950) was the most beautiful theatre on Lincoln Road.



William on November 25, 2003 at 1:48 pm

The Carib Theatre is located at 230 Lincoln Road and it seated 1061 people.