New Theatre

4120 Laguna Street,
Coral Gables, FL 33134

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Originally opened as the Cinema Take One in 1978. It went through a couple of name changes before it opened as Astor Cinema in February of 1992 with “Cinema Paradiso”. Located in Coral Gable’s tony design district, the theater’s highly successful booking policy featured independent, avant garde, foreign, and high quality commercial move-overs played on a split schedule (separate admission for each show).

Proprietor Lorenzo L. Rodriguez brought back to his South Florida roots the benefits of having managed two of Greenwich Villages most famous movie theaters: the Bleecker Street Cinemas and the Angelika Film Center.

The Astor Cinema did quite well despite brutal competition from two nearby multiplexes in what has traditionally been an under performing market for specialty pictures. Mr. Rodriguez transferred the lease to his successor who continued the winning formula for another ten years. Eventually, the Astor Cinema became the New Theatre, a live theatre. It was demolished around 2011.

Contributed by Lorenzo L. Rodriguez

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on July 24, 2005 at 7:43 am

I like the name “Absinthe” for a theatre. Wonderfully decadent.

bornjaded on July 24, 2005 at 8:38 am

Are you sure you’re not confusing this theater with another? There was the Grove Cinematheque on Alcazar Avenue, which closed in the late ‘80s/early '90s and reopened in the late '90s, under new ownership, as the Alcazar Cinematheque, which later became the Absinthe House Cinematheque, which has since closed and become a venue exclusively for live theatre (much like the Astor Cinema).

sporridge on March 19, 2006 at 7:08 am

If memory serves, here’s the succession order:

Cinema Take One (early 80s)

Arcadia (mid 80s, along with the Cinematheque in Coral Gables and the short-lived Grove Harbour in Coconut Grove, run by Miami Film Festival founder Nat Chediak: he had a tiny framed quote in the lobby that gave the literary source for “Arcadia,” sorry, I’ve forgotten)

Lumiere Cinema (late 80s, early 90s)

Astor Cinema

New Theatre (due to move in 2006, due to pending redevelopment)

The New Theatre (they’re used to moving, but still hope for a permanent home) will now relocate to Coconut Grove… and if memory gives a second helping, I think to the former Grove Harbour space!

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on April 28, 2006 at 5:54 am

I saw Pasolini’s SALO, 100 DAYS OF SODOM at the Arcadia, the most offensive movie I have seen to date, and was shocked the place wasn’t getting closed down.

The Grove Cinema (Intermedia) on Virginia Street was first in the tiny arthouse cycle and it then moved around the corner to Grand operated by the Fabulous Flying Fendleman Brothers.

The Cinematheque (Merry Go Round, Alcazar, Absinthe House ) followed, operated by Nat Chediak.

Of course, the Wometco Mayfair, Parkway and Sunset predated all these as Florida’s premier arthouses.

I have now entered the Absinthe House.

LorenzoRodriguez on August 7, 2007 at 2:42 am

I opened the Astor in 1990 and returned to NYC in 1992.
Also, for the record, I chose the name Astor so it would appear above nearby Bakery Center and Cocowalk at the top of the Miami Herald’s movie clock.
Best, Lorenzo (Hialeah High, Class of 1980)

TLSLOEWS on February 28, 2010 at 5:49 pm

Maybe it should be called the Not New Theatre!

Ripshin on February 16, 2013 at 3:14 pm

OK, please explain. How long has this place actually been around? I’m sure that I saw films there in the early 80s.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on February 16, 2013 at 6:08 pm

It opened as the Cinema Take one in 1978.

David_Schneider on January 22, 2016 at 5:34 pm

This theater was demolished, as can be seen in the Google Street View image on this page, sometime after March of 2011.

To see what it looked like, type the street address into Google Maps, switch to Street View, then click on the arrow next to the clock icon below the address in the upper left corner of the screen, then choose 2008 or 2011. The theater is small with an awning over the door.

I knew it as the Astor Art Cinema and saw several foreign and independent films there in the 1990’s. I looked forward to going to the little cinema with a cute small lobby, down the block from a 7-11, on a street of one or two story office-like buildings that were closed in the evening, to buy a ticket and popcorn from what I remember as a nice older couple who ran it. … A standout experience was seeing Roberto Benigni’s “Life is Beautiful”, with the people sitting around me weeping as the credits rolled and the lights eventually came up.

The New Theater stage production company that occupied the building after it was a cinema now has an office on Coral Way and puts on its performances at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center in Cutler Bay.

Still, I miss the cuteness of the Astor.

David_Schneider on May 15, 2016 at 2:09 pm

In my opinion the name of this page should perhaps be changed to “Astor Art Cinema”, since that was this location’s last incarnation as a cinema, this website is about cinemas, the New Theater was a live performance venue not a movie theater, and people using Cinema Treasures would generally be looking for cinemas not playhouses.

Someone I know who remembered the Astor Art Cinema was looking for it on Cinema Treasures and “couldn’t find it”.

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