Mayfair Theatre

1605 Biscayne Boulevard,
Miami, FL 33132

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Showing 16 comments

David_Schneider on January 30, 2018 at 10:17 am

Click here for a quick Youtube video of the Mayfair in 1957 from the Wolfson Archives. Click on “Show More” below the video and read the text.

stuB on June 12, 2012 at 10:18 am

Unfortunately, I never visited the theatre. But to my great fortune and good timing, I was able to purchase six of the magnificent art nouveaux chandeliers that hung in the theatre as it was being torn down to make way for the Omni. I displayed them prominently in my restaurant in the Hotel Place St. Michel for the last 40 years. Since i have recently closed the restaurant, I wish to pass these treasures on to the next caretaker who will cherish them as all my patrons have since 1973. They are 80 yrs old, in mint condition and looking for a buyer.

guarina on May 11, 2012 at 8:46 pm

I loved it. Remember seeing “Ship of Fools” and “The Man Who Fell to Earth” there.

willimd on September 7, 2009 at 12:20 pm

In the 50’s the studios of CBS radio affiliate WGBS-AM-710, a Storer station were located upstairs.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on April 3, 2009 at 11:12 am

Opening day ads for the Mayfair, 1932:

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MayfairMan on March 21, 2009 at 11:46 am

I share with Al Alvarez a ‘favorite theatre’ of my youth affection for the Mayfair. If you went out the front door of the Mayfair and walked directly west 2 blocks you would walk into the back door to my house on NE 1st Court. Mom took me to see Great Expectations there in ‘46 (my first adult movie.) In my teens I was often able to get around the 'adult only’ restrictions because I was such a regular. Saw just about every foreign/art film that played there until I went away to college in ‘58. Met and got to know Gloria DeHaven (at the time married to Dick Fincher the Oldsmobile dealer at 16th St & NE 2nd Ave) who was a regular matinee maven like me.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on April 17, 2008 at 6:38 am

The Mayfair circa 1933. “Miami’s most unique theatre”

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Louis of Pompano
Louis of Pompano on July 10, 2007 at 2:56 pm

Wow, no I hadn’t. It’s in my favorites now. I guess Novicia means Monja in real spanish. You learn something new every day! Thanks

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 10, 2007 at 2:20 pm

LOL. The Tivoli did similar programming. My mother would take us to see some popular family musical film from Spain and the second feature would be some Mexican soft core porn or violence filler.
I also remember the Tower’s name for the subtitled version of THE SOUND OF MUSIC. It was LA NOVICIA REBELDE or literally, THE REBEL NUN.

I saw THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY on a double feature with HANG ‘EM HIGH at the Olympia.

Have you found this website yet?

Louis of Pompano
Louis of Pompano on July 10, 2007 at 1:57 pm

That is funny! Man can I relate to that. I also grew up going to the Tower Theatre. I remember they had a lot of double features, not always in spanish. I remember watching The Good The Bad & The Ugly, then the 2nd feature was a mexican “vaquero” movie, usually dirty old Mexican vaqueros chasing the daughters of a poor Mexican farmer that was leading a good Christian life. Yes I too got bored of watching the vaqueros, so I also learned how to take the bus to go downtown.
Given the frequency of my visits to the Tower, I am sure I must have seen you there sometime. You have access to some great info and pics, if there is anything you want to share, this is my email: I wish this forum had IMs or a way to post an email on a profile, but it doesn’t. I enjoy your posts very much, you have a lot of knowledge of all the things that I loved when I was a kid growing up in Miami, so it’s always a pleasure and I look forward to you postings.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 10, 2007 at 2:36 am


Although the Olympia, Miami, Florida and Paramount provided good memories of popcorn, Disney, and Doris Day, The Mayfair was a more serious place during the arty days and I knew I would see something different if I could get past the movie rating. It helped me develop an early love for foreign language and controversial films I still have today.

The Carib, Sheridan, Bay Harbor, Miracle, Coral, Twin Gables, Sunny Isles and Cinematheque (Absinthe) were also among my favorites.

The Omni never took off and its fate was sealed after the downtown race riots. I grew up with Spanish films at the Tivoli and Tower but avoided them once I figured out how to take the bus.

Louis of Pompano
Louis of Pompano on July 9, 2007 at 6:59 pm


Great article. I am surprised you miss this theatre the most. I remember it, but it never caught my attention as much as The Carib, and some of the others.

It’s really funny that all that was demolished to pave the way for the Omni. The Omni with all it’s glamour and glitter when it was built, is now nothing of what it used to be. I recently stayed at the Radisson and the place is starting to look run down.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on March 22, 2007 at 5:56 am

Mon, Dec. 11, 2006
Lost Landmarks | Mayfair Theater

The afternoon reception, with its bouquets and satin-gowned hostesses, had drawn 1,000 curious citizens, but now it is 8:15, curtain time. Once the lights dim, and handsome Jo (soon Joseph) Cotten, pronounces ‘'That was quite a bump,’‘ to start the first act of William Archer’s The Green Goddess, every ticket holder at Civic Theater’s ’‘modernistic’‘ new playhouse on the Boulevard at 16th Street knows this is it, the most glittery event of the season.

By this January night in 1930, the Civic is Miami’s largest, most important social/cultural organization, counting Abesses, Burdines, even Vanderbilts, among its 600 supporters, and now, after years of wandering from stage to stage, its actors have such a swanky new home even Al Capone shows up. Alas, the company falters during the Depression, but the building is resuscitated as the Mayfair Theater, a popular Wometco movie house. For $1.65, patrons can enjoy coffee and tea poured into china cups and play bridge in a room off the lobby until the main feature starts.

By the 1960s, the Mayfair reinvents itself again, this time as a beloved art-flick theater. It is razed in the early ‘70s to make room for what is now a Radisson, but five Art Deco chandeliers survive at Restaurant San Michel in Coral Gables, glorious fragments of its afterglow.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on April 13, 2006 at 10:36 pm

The Mayfair is listed in the 1934 Year Book of Motion Pictures as having 700 seats.

RoyPBower on October 18, 2004 at 2:52 pm

I think this is the theater where Joseph Cotten got his start in legitimate theater.

bbin3d on September 14, 2004 at 12:41 pm

I remember the very musty smell in this theatre. I saw BRIDE WORE BLACK at this intimate theatre.