1560 S. Dixie Highway,
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Firms: Peterson & Shuflin
Previous Names: Loew's Riviera Theatre
Opened on February 16, 1956, the Loew’s Riviera Theatre was one of the first shopping center suburban theatres in the country and the first new build allowed Loew’s after it’s divorce from MGM and the Paramount Consent Decrees. The Loew’s Riviera Theatre was well supported by it’s proximity to the University of Miami and the main traffic artery of US 1. The journey from downtown would have taken minutes in the 1950’s. The opening feature, “Picnic” with William Holden, was dated with Radio City Music Hall. Seating in the single screen theatre was provided for 1,281, with 1,015 in the orchestra level and 216 seats in the loge (which was a smoking area). There were large murals of tropical plants along the auditorium side-walls.
I never went in when it became a five-plex, but the GCC twinning on October 9, 1974 could only be described as criminal. It was closed on January 29, 1999 with Michael Keaton in “Jack Frost”.
On a recent visit to Miami I saw an advertisement for the furniture showroom which took over the building, saying they would show a movie while you tried out the furniture. Might the projectors still be there? It was taken over by the Area Stage Company in 2008 who used one auditorium with a total seating capacity for 300. In 2016 the other space was a dance studio. It was closed in March 2020 and demolished in May 2021.
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