Rio Theatre

222 NE 1st Avenue,
Miami, FL 33132

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David_Schneider on September 13, 2018 at 12:16 pm

The Rio appears starting at 0:26 in this news story segment about the Miami Theatre from July 1978 on the Wolfson Archives Youtube channel:

Looks like it is next to what is now or still the Miami Sun Hotel.

Wow, I’ve never seen the Rio before.

Ben Arnold
Ben Arnold on August 3, 2013 at 7:57 am

The downtown Miami Dixie theater really ought to be included in the Miami theater index.

Ben Arnold
Ben Arnold on August 3, 2013 at 7:43 am

The Dixie was in operation in 1948 at 222 NE 1st Avenue. In 1965 it became the Rio, which existed into the ‘80s and showed double features in the '50s.

Louis of Pompano
Louis of Pompano on October 21, 2012 at 2:51 pm

The Rio was not a great place to go. The neighborhood surrounding it became really bad. The Rio was not on a main drag. After 1970 the streets that ran north & south in downtown were never great places to hang.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 11, 2012 at 9:02 pm

Guarina, if you know the Rio you have so much more to share about Miami Cinemas. Please do share more details of your wonderful Miami movie experiences. We so want to know.

guarina on May 11, 2012 at 8:41 pm

It was the Dixie in 1962, run down and smelly by 1964.

Harvey on April 27, 2010 at 11:28 am

Scratch that. October 1980, not May.

Harvey on April 27, 2010 at 11:25 am

May 1980 Miami News article on the closing of The Rio here.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 27, 2010 at 1:04 am

A couple of years after it opened, three photos of the Dixie ran in Boxoffice of May 5, 1951. It was a nice Art Moderne style theater built for the N.N. Bernstein circuit.

The theater’s name was changed from Dixie to Rio in 1965, according to Boxoffice of December 20 that year. Wometco was set to reopen the house at Christmas.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on March 10, 2009 at 3:26 pm

The Dixie opened in 1948 and the architect was Robert E. Collins.

deleted user
[Deleted] on October 18, 2008 at 7:52 am

was an assistant manager at rio theater in miami in 75. and yes the theater was a bit rundown then. I can almost smell the insides of the theater now as i think about it. life was so wonderful back them.
going to the theater and coming out of it, and the people. everything was so much alive there in downtown miami, fl.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 4, 2008 at 3:10 pm

The Dixie was already operating in 1949. It became the Rio in 1965 and closed in 1979.

Harvey on June 29, 2008 at 5:02 pm

Thank you for the kind words, Al. I'mn intrigued about the job you had at that agency. Maybe one day you could tell the tale?

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on June 25, 2008 at 5:56 am

Great website, Harvey. I also saved Miami movie ad clippings as a kid and you brought back some great memories. I later worked for an agency that placed many exploitation ads which were often censored by the Miami Herald.

Harvey on June 24, 2008 at 10:54 pm

New link for my previous comment:

View link

Harvey on April 30, 2008 at 11:41 pm

Address listed as 222 NE 1 AVE in a Feb. 1980 Miami Herald.

View link

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 12, 2006 at 5:14 am

George, those addresses seem fine but Miami Dade Downtown Campus was open in 1973 and I took courses in annex buildings around the still open Rio Theatre in 75-76, so they did concur. The Capitol was closed sometime in the fifties.

steg on July 11, 2006 at 11:29 pm

The Capitol was on the West side of N. Miami Avenue between NW 3rd and 4th Streets, Whereas the Dixie/Rio was on the East side of NE 1st Ave between Gesu Church and what was the main Post Office in those days (between NE 2nd and 3rd Sts. Dade Junior College did not exist in those days. By the time DJC was built, the theater and hotel next door was gone, as was the Cortez Hotel which was on the Corner of NE 1st Ave and 3rd St., diagonally across from the PO.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 11, 2006 at 11:19 pm

I don’t doubt the Rio may have been the Dixie but the Capitol (WTVJ) was closed way before the Rio which operated well into the 70’s and was closer to Flagler Street near and Miami Dade Junior College.

steg on July 10, 2006 at 2:18 pm

AlAlvarez is in error. He is confusing the Rio with the Capitol, which was on N. Miami Ave. between 3rd and 4th Streets.
The Rio was originally named the Dixie Theater, and was located on west side of N.E. 1st Ave., next to the Dixie Hotel, between N.E. 2nd and 3rd Streets. The name was changed sometime in the ‘60’s after the race riots made the name Dixie unpopular.

Louis of Pompano
Louis of Pompano on July 10, 2006 at 7:06 am

Movietheatreowner, given that you are familiar with the Rio, I was wondering if you had any information on The Strand Theatre on NW 7th Avenue in Miami. I see that you most likely own a theatre. I am doing a pictorial history of the Allapatah area, and I desperately need pictures of The Strand Theatre.

tommyboy on August 28, 2005 at 8:57 am

I remember going to this theatre Once, My parent’s didn’t like that section of downtown, but the movie that I wanted to watch was Edgar allan Poes THE CONQUEROR WORM with Vincent Price, American International Picture (Beach surf movies) could only play there pictures at this second run theatre in the Miami area, already very run down & dirty in the late 60s

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on May 24, 2005 at 11:40 am

I think the Rio was designed to keep the riff-raff out of the Flagler Street houses, much like 42nd street did in New York. The movie titles were sometimes so old you could also find them in the TV Guide.

0071967 on January 7, 2005 at 3:13 pm

this theatre was located on Miami Avenue and between Second and Third Street. They showed low budget double features in the early 70’s and my Mom would not let us go inside to watch a movie. Downtown hobo’s and all the crime was what happened to the Rio. It got so bad that they left the lights on while the movie was played. Gesu Church was across the street and down a half a block…the church, built by Flagler, is still in operation. Chaplinfan