O Cinema Miami Beach
500 71st Street,
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Previously operated by: Cobb Theatres, Regal Cinemas, Wometco Theatres
Architects: A. Herbert Mathes
Previous Names: Byron-Carlyle Twin Theatre, Byron-Carlyle Theatre
The Byron-Carlyle Twin Theatre opened December 18, 1968, with 590 seats in the Byron auditorium and 993 seats in the Carlyle auditorium. The opening film was the World Premiere presentation of “Skidoo”, attended by Jackie Gleason, Tiny Tim and Otto Preminger. It was tripled on October 19, 1979. On December 25, 1986 it became a 7-screen theatre. In the early-1990’s it was taken over by Cobb Theatres and later in the 1990’s it was taken over by Regal. It was closed in 2002 and acquired by the City of Miami Beach.
Today, the renovated theatre functions as a playhouse. It is using a single auditorium which seats a total of 304 (152 in the orchestra and 138 in the mezzanine) obviously using just one of the former screens. From 2001 when it was purchased by the City of Miami Beach and until 2011 it became a live theatre. It then became a playhouse for the Broward Theatre Company.
It was taken over by O Cinema in 2014. It closed in late-2019.
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Recent comments (view all 40 comments)
Does the O in O Cinema stand for anything?
Two bids for redevelopment of the Byron/O. If the bids are accepted, it looks like the end is likely near for this venue.
This Miami Herald article about O Cinema having taken over the Miami Beach Cinematheque, says this location will close at the end of October because the city will not renew a lease for a building that needs to be recertified since it is more than 50 years old:
“The Next O Cinema is Opening At a South Beach Location Already Beloved by Film Fans“
It also says the property may be redeveloped into something that is required to include ten thousand square feet of cultural space that might house a new O Cinema.
Miami New Times article:
“O Cinema Cofounder Kareem Tabsch on Expanding to South Beach After Leaving Wynwood”
The O Cinema website no longer lists North Beach (called Miami Beach on the site before they opened South Beach) as a location, meaning this O Cinema is closed, leaving South Beach (the former Miami Beach Cinematheque) as the only O Cinema for the time being.
So for now Miami-Dade County has 4 art cinemas left, down from 7 a couple years ago. Those remaining are: Coral Gables Art Cinema, Bill Cosford Cinema (on the University of Miami campus), Tower Theater (on 8th Street in the Little Havana neighborhood), and O Cinema South Beach.
Also here’s a webpage regarding art film screenings at various locations around South Florida that might be useful:
Three screens on October 19th, 1979. Grand opening ad posted.
7 screens opening on Christmas day, 1986. no grand opening ad found.
Last developer effort/bid has been rejected by the city commission. Based on the article below and Al’s earlier comment, the main summary above should reflect that it closed in 2000 and was purchased by CMB in 2001.
PS Just a minor footnote, from 2001 to 2011, the theater was sometimes used for live productions though infrequently. From 2011 to 2014, it was used by the Broward theater company as a playhouse and O Cinema completed its full 5 year term lease from 2014 until its closure in late 2019.
Nope. This was a major Wometco Cinema.
Al, it was until the early 1990’s when Cobb took over. See the clipping below with the Cobb Byron Carlyle clearly listed in 1994. At some later point in the 90’s Regal took over. (See the Loew’s Bay Harbor page for more) Wometco pretty much jettisoned a lot of their beach theaters in the late 1980’s (The Surf and Normandy were closed by then)