Seminole Cultural Arts Theatre
18 N. Krome Avenue,
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Seminole Cultural Arts Theatre (Official)
Architects: Roy A. Benjamin
Functions: Performing Arts
Styles: Streamline Moderne
Previous Names: Seminole Theatre, Premier Theatre
Originally opened in 1921, the 500-seat Seminole Theatre on Krome Avenue was built for Henry Booker, Sr. and James Washington English for movies and live entertainment. The theatre was heavily damaged in a 1940 fire, leaving little more than a blackened shell.
Prolific theatre architect Roy A. Benjamin was hired to rebuild the Seminole Theatre, which he designed in Streamline Moderne style. The cost of the movie theatre’s reconstruction was around $50,000. It reopened in fall of 1940 as a 500-seat movie theatre. In addition to movies, the Seminole Theatre continued to host live entertainment, as well as beauty contests and cooking demonstrations. In the early-1970’s, the Seminole Theatre was renamed the Premier Theatre and began to show Spanish-language movies. It closed in 1979 due to declining attendance.
For years, the theatre sat vacant and fell into disrepair. In 1992, when Hurricane Andrew hit the Homestead area, the Seminole Theatre was not spared, and though its walls stood, the roof was torn off and the theatre’s interior suffered serious damage. In 1993, the Seminole Theatre’s owners donated the battered theatre to the city, which designed it a local historic site two years later, the sole remaining example of Art Moderne style in all Dade County.
The Seminole Theatre Group was organized in 1997 with the intention of restoring the theatre as a performing arts venue serving the Homestead and Dade County region. It cost about $4.2 million to bring the old Seminole Theatre back to life. The Seminole Theatre was reopened October 28, 2015.
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Recent comments (view all 12 comments)
Here is the Premier, circa 1960s:
Does anyone know if the Premier was part of the Seminole building or a separate structure altogether?
IN 1967-1969 I WENT TO THE THEATRE.THEY SHOWED MOVIES.THE INTERIOR WAS VERY INTERESTING. THE DOORS ON THE MEN’S AND WOMEN’S ROOMS WERE CHINESE, THEY HAD DRAGONS ON THEM. I KNEW THE MANAGER, SHE WAS VERY NICE. I AM GLAD TO SEE IT HAS BEEN RESTORED.
The Seminole had its grand re-opening on October 28, 2015 after an extensive renovation!
They have a facebook page up which, for now, is serving as their official webpage. Photos there – the interior is brand new and quite modern – they did a great job!
The Seminole Theatre in Homestead Florida has indeed re-opened it’s doors after several decades. There is indeed a Facebook page but the official website for the Seminole Theatre is :
There is also two Facebook pages. The Page titled The Seminole Cultural Arts Theatre Inc. is for supporting the non-profit aspect of the business while the page titled Seminole Theatre is the official Facebook page for the theatre. I have this helps. Visit the Seminole Theatre in Homestead Florida website today.
Across the street from the Seminole is the Homestead Historic Town Hall Museum. As of October 2014 when I last visited there were maybe 3-4 historic photos on display of some of the cinemas listed here on Cinema Treasures as formerly existing in Homestead. (One may be of the Homestead Theater when it was called the Palms.)
Walk to the back of the museum where the former jail cells are located, go left and look on the walls. I had noticed the same photos during visits in preceding years so I assume they may be on permanent display. The museum staff may be able to help you find them and other photos they may have.
Here is a link to the Museum’s Trip Advisor page:
Glad to see the Seminole restored and open again for performances. The schedule looks great.
Mid `50s postcard and 1957 photo added.
Last night I attended the groundbreaking ceremony for Homestead Station, a new entertainment complex by ShowBiz Cinemas and transportation hub that will be built in downtown Homestead just south of the Seminole Cultural Arts Theatre at the corner of Mowery Drive and Krome Avenue, and will include a ten screen cinema.
Meanwhile the Seminole was alive and well with people arriving for a performance, under the neon lights of the good-looking vertical “Seminole” sign.
Check out this article by Bob Jensen in the South-Dade News Leader from December 11th, 2015:
“Homestead’s Early Movie Theaters”
It includes a photo of the Seminole in the 1940’s as well as one of the aftermath of the fire that burned the previous Seminole at this location. Interesting it mentions until the Seminole was rebuilt movies were shown in the alley behind the building. There’s also some details about its time as the Premier Theatre.
New to me, the article says the first films exhibited in Homestead were shown at Sistrunk Hall in 1913, a wooden structure that had existed on Mowery Drive where Showbiz Cinemas is building Homestead Station as I mentioned in my previous comment.
On October 18th, 2018 I attended the Lighting Ceremony for the Seminole’s new marquee, (it had never had a marquee before), followed by a free screening of “Singin' in the Rain”, which to me nicely felt a bit like going to the movies in a small town years ago.
I’ve uploaded a photo of the marquee on the night of its debut.