5794 S. Dixie Highway,
1 person favorited this theater
Firms: Robertson & Patterson
Styles: Spanish Moorish
In 1925, brothers Harold and Robert Dorn, who had moved to South Miami from Chicago in 1910 to farm, built the 1,000-seat Riviera Theatre, a fancy Spanish Moorish-style cinema on S. Dixie Highway at the northeast corner of SW 58th Avenue just south of Red Road. The Riviera Theatre opened September 4, 1926 with Laura LaPlante in “Her Big Night”. It was equipped with a Hope-Jone Wurlitzer theatre pipe organ which was opened by organist Gilbert Edwards.
Soon afterwards, due to the devastation left behind by the Great Miami Hurricane of 1926, South Florida suffered an economic downturn, and the Riviera Theatre closed in 1927.
On October 15, 1934 Fuchs Bakery, renamed Holsum Bakery, relocated from Homestead, FL to the Riviera property. The front of the late theatre then enjoyed being the setting for the bakery’s annual Christmas display, a popular attraction for many years into the early-1960’s. (A Google search for images of “Holsum Bakery Christmas” reveals nice photos and postcards.)
In the early-1980’s, after the bakery moved to Medley, FL, its former buildings were demolished and replaced in 1986 by the Bakery Center shopping mall which included the AMC Bakery Centre 7 Theatres. When the Bakery Center failed, it in turn was demolished in 1996 and replaced in 1999 by The Shops at Sunset Place, with its AMC Sunset Place 24 multiplex and the now defunct IMAX Theatre at Sunset Place.
In 2017, the rear portion of LA Fitness (originally the IMAX Theatre) and the western edge of the parking garage for The Shops at Sunset Place are where the Riviera Theatre once stood.
In 1956 what most locals today remember as the Riviera Theatre opened just north of Red Road at 1560 South Dixie Highway in Coral Gables, but the first cinema in the area to be named Riviera Theatre was this one built by the Dorn brothers.
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