Gables Theatre

2112 Ponce de Leon Boulevard,
Coral Gables, FL 33134

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Ripshin on February 16, 2013 at 11:52 am

Yes, I went to those three, often, during that time. However, I was a pretty observant kid, and I’m just surprised that I never noticed the building back then. I think that the old S&H Green Stamps store was just up the block, and we frequented that spot often. In the 80s, I lived a few blocks away, and it was definitely gone. I did watch them tear down the Coral – very sad.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on February 16, 2013 at 11:36 am

Ripshin, that’s not so strange. I hardly went to the Gables as a kid either. The family films played mostly at the Coral and Miracle and later at the Twin Gables during that period. The Gables was not booked for kids and it was easier to get into an R rated film downtown.

Ripshin on February 16, 2013 at 11:25 am

OK, the postcard above, was photographed at Ponce & Minorca, looking south. It’s easy to check via Google Streetview. So, yes, the theater was gone by the time I returned to Miami in 1982. Diagonally across the street, is the Hotel St. Michel (don’t know what it was back in the 30s), where I shot a student film in the early 80s. I would have remembered the old Gables sitting there. Occupying the spot now, is Wachovia – formerly whatever. I guess that the building was constructed right after they tore down the theater in 1981? Strange thing is, that as a kid in Miami from ‘67 – '74, I never attended a movie there.

Booboobeir on February 16, 2013 at 6:12 am

I grew up in the Gables, near this theater. When I was thirteen I got permission to go with my friends (all of us attended 7th grade at Carver in Coconut Grove) to see a new exciting movie called ‘Star Wars’ in 1976. We were mesmerized, and had seen nothing like it before! One friend went back SIX times to see it! Also others such as murder-mystery ‘W’ (oooh, we were so scared!). I remember stopping at the popcorn counter and signs everywhere showed a big ‘W’ and the captions read ‘WHO is W’???? (as in, who is W, the murderer.) Also, ‘Earthquake’ with Charlton Heston & Lorne Greene, and many many more. It was a great home-town theater with a big screen and great sound, and like BerkelyBernie’s blog above this theater was just near Coral Gables Elementary School (which I attended from grade 1-6 (minus second grade when they forced us to leave Gables Elementary for ‘integration’, then they allowed us to come back the following year). Anyway, it was a great theater which I truly miss. I remember due to the population at the time, it was never really busy, just us neighborhood people mostly. And most people walked there from their homes or apartments. If memory serves me correctly, they eventually tore this building down and erected a tall modern building that read ‘Bank of Tokyo’ for many years. We were SO disheartened and not happy at all with the new addition to our beautiful town. Anyway, very happy memories at the Gables Theater. (As well as at Miracle on Miracle Mile, but Gables was MY theater.)

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on December 2, 2010 at 8:05 am

The long run of “WOODSTOCK” opened at the smaller Coral which was used for exclusive runs. The Gables ran the film later when it went wide.

RLSemes on December 1, 2010 at 10:55 pm

The Gables was a large house with balcony and a very large screen,
especially after the introduction of CinemaScope in the early ‘50s.
Unfortunately, the 1936 “renovation” took out almost all of the original decor from the lobby and auditorium. What I remember was a
creme colored wall with a medium blue design on each wall in a sort of stepped effect starting at the rear…nothing great. Proscenium was plain, ceiling plain. Entry doors into the auditorium were sort of greyish blue as I remember with an octogan shaped frosted window in the center upper part. The exterior underwent some significant changes after the 1936 renovation. I remember the Gables from about 1947 to 1972. The large vertical sign was plaster at the end of the theatre’s life, but earlier in my time it had mirror chips on the plaster on both sides of it, making the neon letters “GABLES” really glow at night. It seemed to get plainer as time went on.

I saw many classic films here during my years in the Gables. I took my much younger brother to see “Woodstock” here when there was a
tizzy about it showing in Coral Gables. An earlier post said that “Woodstock” played at the Coral? No, it was at the Gables.

I miss all the old theatres in the Gables; so glad that the Miracle Theatre survived…where I was an usher in my teens.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 29, 2009 at 9:45 am

This photo would imply that the Coral Gables Theatre (Famous players/Lasky 1500 seats)open in 1926 indeed became the Gables in 1936.

View photo

BerkeleyBernie on May 29, 2009 at 2:25 am

And I saw “Wait Until Dark” there! I remember the entire audience jumping out of their seats during the scariest part.

BerkeleyBernie on May 29, 2009 at 2:18 am

I grew up in Coral Gables, until finishing Coral Gables Elementary in 1968. I was a school crossing guard, and, if I recall correctly, a perk was getting free movie tickets to the Gables, which was right next door. I’m sure I saw many flicks there. I recall rushing to the theater once straight after taking off my safety vest, and seeing what, to my 10 year old sensibilities, seemed a rather disturbing film (“The Honey Pot”).

With Google StreetView, I recently started exploring some of my old childhood roadways, which I haven’t seen in forty years. When I couldn’t find the theater, I figured it was demolished. A little more searching turned up this site, confirming it was gone. Too bad…

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on March 30, 2009 at 4:19 pm

The Gables opened in 1936 and closed in 1981. A previous Coral Gables theatre also operated on Ponce De Leon Boulevard, possibly on the site of the Coral.

Ripshin on March 29, 2009 at 10:40 pm

Was this gone by the 80s? I don’t remember it from my childhood (67 – 73 in Miami), and definitely not when I went back to attend UM.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on April 17, 2008 at 6:48 am

New link to the photo above:

View link

JWX on January 17, 2007 at 11:34 pm

Oh! Thanks Al. Fancy a real-time reply about this.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 17, 2007 at 11:26 pm

JWX, the theatre near Sergios was the Twin Gables, later the Gables Triple.

JWX on January 17, 2007 at 10:47 pm

It’s amazing that someone should post about “Star Wars” in the context of this cinema, because I only just mentioned it to my parents, one day ago.

I was recalling that as a child (9-10), they took me to see the very first Stars Wars there, and wondered what the theatre was called.

We remembered its location (on Ponce, as we locals call the veneral Ponce De Leon Blvd.), but not the name. And here I am, reading this description like an old friend greeting another, after many years' absence.

With a child’s memory, acute for some details, but strictly hazy about others, all I can contribute to the thread is that I recall that its lobby contained the very first “Asteroids” video game machine I ever saw.

It was all of a quarter to play it, and the thrill of doing so (since there was such a queue of kids to play it that afternoon!) almost eclipsed my memories and excitement of watching Stars Wars I itself.

Years later, our (private Catholic) school took us kids to see Return of the Jedi, only this time in the cinemahouse down the road on 24th street near the famed Sergio’s Cuban restaurant — on the location which later became a succession of supermarkets, including Varadero, and currently, Winn Dixie.

I’m off to find that theatre now, for more shared memories. What a great site this is.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on April 2, 2006 at 12:05 am

The address above is incorrect. The Gables was at 2112 Ponce de Leon.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 28, 2005 at 1:44 am

The Gables had dressing rooms upstairs and a proper stage. It was always upstaged by the smaller but more modern Coral down the road, In spite of a tiny lobby and several run down years, it survived the adding of the Twin Gables (actually located on the Miami side) to serve the affluent Coral Gables market.

In it’s last years it was also home to the ABC Florida State Theatres South Florida offices, later becoming a Plitt Theatres.

The Gables hosted the exclusive South Florida run of STAR WARS in Christmas 1977 when the movie just wouldn’t go away that year.