Florida Theatre

205 E. Flagler Street,
Miami, FL 33131

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Suddenly

One of the many theatres located on Flagler Street, across from from the Olympia Theatre (now the Gusman Center). This originally opened as the New Hippodrome Theatre on January 5, 1917 with Clara Kimball Young in “"The Common Law”. It was the second theatre with the Hippodrome name built in downtown Miami. It was closed in 1930, and became the Rex Theatre on November 7, 1931 with Peggy Shannon in “The Secret Call”. It was operated by Paramount Pictures Inc. through their subsidiary E.J. Sparkes. It was closed and remodeled into the Florida Theatre on April 9, 1948 by the Jacksonville based architectural firm Kemp, Bunch & Jackson, reopening with June Allyson in “Good News”.

I remember seeing Mia Farrow in “Rosemary’s Baby” at this theatre. Unfortunately I can’t remember what the inside of the theatre looked like. I believe this theatre played some Cinerama travelogues, but by that time I had left the city.

Contributed by Bob Berg

Recent comments (view all 24 comments)

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on January 17, 2010 at 9:55 am

This Miami News article contradicts Boxoffice and says the Florida is a remodel of the Rex.

View link

RLSemes
RLSemes on November 30, 2010 at 7:25 pm

I have vague memories of the Rex Theatre in Miami. I may have
been in it once with my parents, but don’t remember for sure. In
1947 or so, when I was around six, I think it burned down, or
burned partially. I do remember my parents telling me it had
wood floors. The Florida, as I recall, was mostly a new building.

guarina
guarina on May 11, 2012 at 8:19 pm

It was THE theater that showed Cinerama. And the box office lady proudly boasted a very youthful neckline.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 9, 2012 at 2:41 pm

Florida Theatre manager Ralph Puckhaber was head of marketing for ABC Florida State Theatres when I started working for them in 1974, twenty years after the article above was published. He was a flamboyant man who always wore plaid jackets with his trademark pink socks.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on September 21, 2016 at 8:11 pm

“Suddenly, Last Summer” in the photo section.

David_Schneider
David_Schneider on January 23, 2018 at 10:30 am

The address is correct but the Street View image is not.

In Street View look for a storefront that says “205 Digital Marketplace” under a blue awning.

In my opinion the building is not demolished.

To me the storefront and building look like they could be the same ones in this photo on the photos page with some cosmetic physical alterations, and the Street View image can be rotated to match the tall building that still exists behind the Florida Theatre in the photo.

David_Schneider
David_Schneider on January 23, 2018 at 10:37 am

Click here for someone’s Amazon listing for an original postcard of the Hippodrome.

rivest266
rivest266 on January 25, 2020 at 4:58 pm

Reopened as Florida on April 9th, 1948 with “Good News”. Grand opening ad posted.

rivest266
rivest266 on January 25, 2020 at 5:06 pm

Opened as Hippodrome on January 5th, 1917 and as Rex on November 7th, 1931. Grand opening ads posted.

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