Coral Theatre

2331 Ponce de Leon Boulevard,
Coral Gables, FL 33134

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Coral Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Coral was a single-screen house. It housed the Miami premieres of “The Exorcist” and “A Clockwork Orange”.

Contributed by Lewis Day

Recent comments (view all 22 comments)

RLSemes on December 1, 2010 at 10:41 pm

I knew the Coral well, having grown up in Coral Gables in the late 1940s to the early 1970s. The exterior went through some changes during its latter years, but the interior remained the same. Inside were wall murals on each wall near the screen, mainly fish and coral pieces. Nearer the screen on each side were three? vertical louvered pieces with cove lighting. The theatre had a screen curtain that glimmered and always was used to open the show. After CinemaScope was introduced in the early ‘50s, a new screen was brought forward and the curtains were taken out. The theatre also had rows where the end seats were “love seat” style, i.e., room for two. The Coral had no balcony but was fairly spacious.

I saw many movies here, including “The Night Heaven Fell” the second Bardot film where I had to lie about my age to get in.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 8, 2011 at 9:31 am

I saw “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” here, when my family and I lived in Miami in November or December of 1971. Looks like the theater has been replaced by a Morton’s Steakhouse, which has an address of 2333 Ponce de Leon Blvd. Can’t tell if it’s the same building or not. If the theater wasn’t demolished, the building appears to have undergone significant alterations.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on September 8, 2011 at 11:02 am

It was definitely demolished, Ed.

Link to ads:

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 8, 2011 at 11:58 am

Yeah, I thought so. Looked way too different.

Ripshin on September 10, 2011 at 8:34 pm

WOW, Ed, we’ve had some of the same experiences. Saw “Bedknobs” there, as well. 49 here.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 11, 2011 at 7:02 pm

Hey Ripshin. I’m 46, so just a few years behind you. We only lived in Miami for a year and moved back to our native New York City in the summer of ‘72, but I have fond memories of all the moviegoing the family did while in Miami. In addition to the Disney fare at the Coral and Twin Gables, we frequented many a drive-in double and triple feature. That early exposure to such lurid titles as “Blood on Satan’s Claw,” “Cat o Nine Tails,” “Return of Count Yorga” and “The Beast in the Cellar” struck a chord in me that would resonate for years. Some years later, as a teenager back in NYC, these early B-movie experiences would lead me towards the grindhouses of 42nd Street and Times Square, seeking out similar fare to that which had so entertained and thrilled me at such a young age at the Drive-Ins of Florida.

Ed Solero
Ed Solero on September 11, 2011 at 7:15 pm

I posted a couple of images from old Miami News editions, concerning the engagement here of “A Clockwork Orange.” Seems that the movie had been scheduled to open at the Coral on February 18th, 1972, in an exclusive South Florida run. That engagement, however, was cancelled by none other than Stanley Kubrick himself. While the article states that no official reason was given, it is intimated that the film’s reputation as a “dangerous” work that might possibly incite outbursts of violence might have been the rationale for the cancellation. The article also hints that the root cause may have been over the film’s advertising. As commented earlier in this thread, the Miami newspapers held all “X” rated films (as “Clockwork” was rated on its initial release) to two inch block ads, with no display advertisement allowed – placing a serious film like “Clockwork” in the same category as a porno flick.

The article also notes that the owners of the Coral, Florida State Theaters, planned on campaigning for a Miami showing of the movie despite the cancellation. Eventually, Kubrick must have relented, because the film finally opened at the Coral in the middle of April, 1972. Online editions of the Miami News are not complete for the period, but the block ad appears as early as the April 17th edition, which would lead me to believe the film must have opened the previous Friday, April 14th.

A sample of the April 17th block ad has been uploaded here, where one can see only the film’s title is displayed, indistinguishable in presentation from the other porn titles listed in similar blocks in the clipping.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on September 11, 2011 at 7:48 pm

By the way, the manager of the Coral got the last laugh on the idiotic Miami Herald policy. On opening day of “Clockwork” he got Warner Bros. and a local record store to co-op a full page ad for the soundtrack album in the entertainment section.

rivest266 on October 17, 2011 at 3:39 pm

Al, did the Herald accept ads for adult cinemas in the 1970? Many newspapers refused then outright.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on October 17, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Rivest, they accepted them without art work and only one column by two inches for non-mainstream titles by 1970.

The refused ads for the premiere of “I Am Curious (Yellow)” at the Flamingo but later accepted them when the film moved over to the North Miami.

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