Town Theatre

265 E. Flagler Street,
Miami, FL 33131

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Showing 1 - 25 of 44 comments

Matthew Prigge
Matthew Prigge on October 23, 2012 at 1:35 pm

If anyone has any stories about going to/ working at this threatre in its adult days, I would love to hear them. I am chronicling the histories of adult theatres in the US. Please contact me at Thanks!

Louis of Pompano
Louis of Pompano on October 21, 2012 at 6:06 pm

Jeffsfonts,

Did you happen to see any pictures of the old Strand Theater on NW 7th Avenue? Wometco owned it for a while. I have been searching for a picture of the outside of the theater for quite some time. I would like to have one so we can complete the database on the Strand. We now have some pictures of the inside, which has been renovated, given that the theater is now a church. Would be nice to have some pics of the theater.

guarina
guarina on May 11, 2012 at 11:25 pm

In 1962 we had the Olympia, the Miami, the Florida, the Paramount and the Town on Flagler Street. The Olympia was turned into the Gusman Hall, and there isn’t one movie theater downtown now.

rivest266
rivest266 on October 16, 2011 at 3:40 pm

Wometco place no grand opening ad on June 29th, 1946 except for its regular listings.

jeffsfonts
jeffsfonts on March 24, 2010 at 12:36 am

When I was collecting old Miami photos back in 1984, I met the late Stanley Stern of Wometco Theaters. He showed me a great scrapbook, which included pictures of a sign company changing the name of the Miami Theater to the Town in advance of the opening of the new Miami Theater west of that location. He also shared a few photos with me, including an old color shot of the Town Theater.

Those photos are now part of the collection of my friend – South Florida historian Seth Bramson… however a digital print of that photo of the Town is on Don Boyd’s site…

miamiguy
miamiguy on August 5, 2009 at 9:10 pm

“Town was indeed the same as the old Miami”

Excellent news, Al. I was just sitting here looking at Google Map’s “street view” function trying to figure out if both theaters were at the same location. Now we know!

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 2, 2009 at 7:10 pm

The Miami opened in 1937 and became the Town in 1946. This would mean it was never a silent house as I previously thought.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 2, 2009 at 6:21 pm

I found confirmation in a May 18, 1946 Boxoffice Magazine that the Town was indeed the same as the old Miami. The name change came after a Wometco renaming contest. The move was decided once Wometco started construction on a larger theatre on Flagler street and decided to transfer the name away from this location.

http://issuu.com/boxoffice/docs/boxoffice_051846

This listing should included MIAMI as an aka name.

Louis of Pompano
Louis of Pompano on April 24, 2009 at 2:44 am

Al,

This is yet another fantabulous post. Did you notice that there is an ad for The Strand Theatre for “Moonlight in Havana” a 1942 film. I also noted that it was general ad for Wometco, and it was a double feature to boot! Good stuff, very good. I love it. Thanks!!!!!

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on April 8, 2009 at 12:01 am

This Christmas 1942 Wometco ad shows the old Miami theatre which may or may not have been the Town (see April 17, 2008 7:41am post). It opened in 1937 and disappeared from ads when the Town opened in 1946.

View link

Louis of Pompano
Louis of Pompano on January 24, 2009 at 1:49 am

Ken,

Great post! I never saw or witnessed Aromarama, however I remember reading something about it somewhere, and I think that it was one of Al Alvarez’s fantastic posts. Given the year, I am surprised that they didn’t try this out in some of the larger theatres such as the Paramount, Olympia, or the Miami theatre.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on January 23, 2009 at 9:11 pm

This is from Boxoffice magazine, April 1960:

MIAMI-Miami is expected soon to have its first theater equipped to provide odors with motion pictures. Tests were made at Wometco’s Town Theater on Flagler Street by engineers, and a spokesman for Wometco said negotiations were under way with Walter Reade, producer of Aromarama.

Preliminary tests have been sucessful at the Town, with equipment being installed in the projection booth and other points, which operates through the air-conditioning system. The odors are emitted to correspond with pictures on the screen, and are exhausted through air vents. The first production by Aromarama will be “Behind the Great Wall”.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 4, 2008 at 6:48 pm

The Town was already operating in 1949 and closed in 1974.

Louis of Pompano
Louis of Pompano on April 18, 2008 at 1:28 am

MiamiGuy,

If you look at that pic, you can see where the street ended, hence the additional street on the map you posted. It’s amazing how the Downtown Miami landscape changed between 1926 and 1947. Given the years, I have to assume that the two major storms influenced some of these changes.

miamiguy
miamiguy on April 18, 2008 at 1:14 am

“The old Miami on the Town site”

Great find, Al.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on April 17, 2008 at 10:38 am

Another link to the “Kilimanjaro” shot.

View link

Louis of Pompano
Louis of Pompano on April 17, 2008 at 10:09 am

Al,

I can see how that corner changed. It’s obvious that it must have been torn down, rebuilt with a theatre to the east of it, that theatre being the Florida. Unless that Hippodrome was so big that they cut it in half, made the west side of it retail and the east the Florida Theatre.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on April 17, 2008 at 9:57 am

Here is a shot of the Hippodrome which I previously thought was on the Olympia site. Looking towards the end of the street, it appears to be a shot facing east, not west, making the map above accurate and placing the Hippodrome on the north side of Flagler.

View link

Louis of Pompano
Louis of Pompano on April 16, 2008 at 7:18 am

Actually it wasn’t return, it was Escape from the Planet of the Apes. I keep calling it return, but return was much later, and as you say, most likely a made for TV ape movie. AMC just finished playing a few of the Ape movies.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on April 15, 2008 at 6:48 pm

CONQUEST was summer of 1972. I think RETURN was just on TV.

There were double feature pairings of the first two over the years and GO APE weekends, mostly at the drive-ins .

Louis of Pompano
Louis of Pompano on April 15, 2008 at 3:47 pm

Al,

Yes, it was Beneath the Planet of the Apes, I saw the first one at the Carib, as a matter of fact, that was the first movie I ever saw at the Carib. I think that when Conquest came to be, most of these theatres were already closed. What year was Conquest? I may be confusing it with Return to the Planet of the Apes.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on April 15, 2008 at 1:22 pm

Louis, I don’t have an ad to share but I do know that the original PLANET OF THE APES opened at the Carib exclusively then went wide to include the MIAMI, MIRACLE, 163rd St, PALM SPRINGS and SUNRISE CINEMA.

BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES opened at the Paramount and ESCAPE at the Florida. CONQUEST did not play downtown, a fact not quite as tragic as the fact that I know this information from files I started as a kid.

Louis of Pompano
Louis of Pompano on April 13, 2008 at 9:35 pm

Al,

Did you note the address for the Dade Theatre? When I was a kid there was a Royal Castle, a Food Fair, Western Auto, and I believe a Grant’s, Kress, or McCrory’s. I don’t remember a theatre being there or the Regent just south on NW 17th avenue. The Regent had to be right next door to the Live and Let Live Rexall Drugstore that is still there! I grew up in Allapatah, when I was a kid those theatres were non-existant. I never knew them.

Louis of Pompano
Louis of Pompano on April 13, 2008 at 9:18 pm

Al George Stegmeir had posted on this before and he stated that the Dixie later became the Rio. Given the address, this must have been the case. George lived in the area circa late 40’s and into the 50s.

I have yet to visit the library to see old newspapers, I wish I had time to do this. I am curious and feel compelled to ask this: do these collections include the classified ads? If memory serves me right, most of the movies and movie times were either in, or part of the classifieds. Unlike today where you have sections like Showtime, which is the entertainment weekly that is published by the Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, back in those days we did not have that luxury. It would be fun to see what was playing in the theatres. I would kill to see the Planet of the Apes ad that was run by the Paramount Theatre and also the ad for the first Batman Movie with Burt Ward and Adam West. I remember seeing those ads in the Miami Herald as a kid!