New Theatre

4120 Laguna Street,
Coral Gables, FL 33134

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Showing 18 comments

robboehm
robboehm on May 31, 2016 at 11:36 am

All articles about the New quote a seating capacity of 104, significantly greater than that in the heading. Possibly because it was a “heavily renovated movie theatre” according to one article.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 31, 2016 at 6:48 am

Hi Lorenzo. I used the “Loews” just to identify it. It can be searched as Astor Plaza. (This may have to do with the fact that it was built by Walter Reade but opened by Loews.) I remember this discussion a while back for classic cinemas that were now churches with performance spaces. The folks at CT seem to feel that new members trying to find what a building used to be were more likely to search that those who already knew where classic cinemas were located and what they were now. I can see the logic.

LorenzoRodriguez
LorenzoRodriguez on May 30, 2016 at 9:47 pm

Al, It’s good to see you’re still on here, however, Loews Astor Plaza came back with no matches. Also, I think I know your sensibilities well enough to suggest you agree with the idea that the original posting should be acknowledged by the website. There has to be a better way to cross reference changing names in the age of lightning fast computers.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 30, 2016 at 9:35 pm

Cinema Treasures usually lists the latest name on top if the venue is still operating as a theatre of sorts. Hence, the Loews Astor Plaza in New York is listed as the Playstation. If you search for the Astor Cinema, the NEW theatre will appear at the bottom as an option.

LorenzoRodriguez
LorenzoRodriguez on May 30, 2016 at 9:12 pm

Thank you, David Schneider. I tried to get this website to change it back to the original heading “Astor Cinema” started by me several years ago. There was no response to my emails regarding the lack of integrity in changing the name of my posting to the New Theatre.

David_Schneider
David_Schneider on May 15, 2016 at 11:09 am

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”.

David_Schneider
David_Schneider on January 22, 2016 at 2:34 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.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on February 16, 2013 at 3:08 pm

It opened as the Cinema Take one in 1978.

Ripshin
Ripshin on February 16, 2013 at 12:14 pm

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

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on February 28, 2010 at 2:49 pm

Maybe it should be called the Not New Theatre!

LorenzoRodriguez
LorenzoRodriguez on August 6, 2007 at 11:42 pm

Correction:
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)

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on April 28, 2006 at 2:54 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.

sporridge
sporridge on March 19, 2006 at 4:08 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!

bornjaded
bornjaded on July 24, 2005 at 5:38 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).

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on July 24, 2005 at 4:43 am

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

moviesmovies
moviesmovies on July 24, 2005 at 4:22 am

After it was called ‘The Arcadia’ it became known as ‘The Absinthe’.

moviesmovies
moviesmovies on July 13, 2005 at 4:15 pm

I believe this was aka as ‘The Arcadia’. Saw screenings of The Miami Film Festival here that were held for press members and very many films during it’s normal operation. It was very appreciated for all the art/foreign programming.
Its sister theatre was also in Coral Gables a few miles away called ‘The Cinematheque’, also showing art/foreign films.
This same owner opened another same film type house on the uppermost level of an intimate outdoor mall in the heart of Coconut Grove, Fl.
I don’t recall the name. It was not a success for very long and closed. Several Miami Film Festival pre-screenings were also held here.

bornjaded
bornjaded on March 22, 2005 at 12:19 am

It’s a shame this theater no longer exists. Just as I became old enough to drive and acquired a license, it closed, so I was largely unable to capitalize on it. But based upon my one visit to it in 1995, to see “Hotel Sorrento,” the theater was impressive, with bright projection, movable masking, and crisp audio, although the surround speakers were located exclusively on one side of the auditorium (I believe it was the right side). The lobby was pleasant and the atmosphere was nice, but the main attraction was this venue’s programming. Lots of South Florida exclusives here, from Bille August’s “Jerusalem,” to the aforementioned “Hotel Sorrento,” to Theo Van Gogh’s “1900,” to the reissue of “Last Tango in Paris,” and so forth.

In its final days, it became more mainstream, holding onto and milking whatever it could get from crossover hits like “Chocolat” and “All About My Mother” — stuff you could see at any multiplex. This is almost always a bad omen for theaters like this. Too bad. Now that Astor and many theaters like it (the Alliance) have disappeared from South Florida, there is a tangible void in the variety of film programming down here. Megaplexes like the Regal South Beach 18 may play mass-distributed crossover “indies” and foreign films, but you won’t find the kind of alternatives there that were offered at the Astor.