79th Street Twin II Cinema

137 NE 79th Street,
Miami, FL 33138

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Brandt Theaters

Previous Names: Little River Theatre, Bard Theatre, 79th Street Art Theatre, 79th Street Art Twin

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Located in the Little River district in the north of Miami, FL. The Little River Theatre was opened on January 18, 1949 and closed in 1954. It was reopened as the Bard Theatre on April 20, 1955 with Jane Russell in “Underwater” plus a stage show.

On January 28, 1961 it was renamed 79th Street Art Theatre, reopening with Gina Lollobrigida in “Love & Jealousy” & Brigitte Bardot in “Mademoiselle Striptease”. It became a single screen adult cinema and by the mid-1970’s it had been twinned and offered gay male adult films in Screen I and regular adult films in Screen II. By 1980 it was offering triple-feature regular adult films in Screen I and gay male adult films in Screen II.

Contributed by KenRoe

Recent comments (view all 26 comments)

Louis of Pompano
Louis of Pompano on March 21, 2009 at 11:40 pm

I think the Star theatre was located close to where Woolco opened a store back in the late 60s or early 70s. This was west of the Northside Shopping Center, very close to the Peoples Commerce Bank, which amazingly enough is still there. I remember that there was a small mall type shopping center built there, but I don’t think it did very well. The Frank & Bun was more towards the corner of 79th Street & 27th Avenue. I don’t remember the Frank & Bun, however I have seen it’s location on Don’s website. At the time Woolco was there, the Frank & Bun was not. An amusement park, Funland Park was on that corner too, kind of like behind the Royal Castle, which is still there.

kencmcintyre on April 7, 2009 at 8:13 pm

Here are photos from 1985 and 1989, respectively:

jeffsfonts on March 23, 2010 at 8:27 pm

I used to go to my friend’s record store The Reord Gallery in the early 1970’s, which was located directly across the “hall” from the Star Cinema in the Woolco mall. Afetr a number of friendly chats with the manager, I used to go in there and kill some time watching the films… Ah! The indiscretions of youth!

Don Boyd is a buddy of mine and has a great site… so check it out!

As for the 79th Street Twin II, It WAS originally the Bard, then the Little River, then the 79th Street Art Theater. Right around the corner from it (on NE 2nd Avenue) was the King, formerly the Rex… originally the Rosetta.

There was another theater on NE 2nd Avenue South of 79th Street which became a split location for two businesses… Newgay Table Tennis and a company that did yearbook photos – I think it was called Nationwide Studios.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on July 2, 2010 at 1:05 pm

Jeff, are you thinking of the United (7829 NE Second Avenue)?

The_Inventor on February 23, 2012 at 3:23 pm

What was unusual about the Little River Theater was the balcony. The projection booth was in the center and on either side were two soundproof glassed in viewing rooms. One was for smokers and the other for people with small children so that their crying and/or talking wouldn’t disturb people – a great idea.

When it became an “adult” theater it showed those horribly filmed movies of the 30’s and 40’s that were so bad they made “Reefer Madness” look like high art. Supposedly no one under 21 was allowed, but we were in our mid-teens and were never challenged. The live show would have some strippers who couldn’t get work anywhere else. We were sure they were all someone’s grandmothers. Even so, we felt like hot shots for getting in.

rivest266 on January 26, 2020 at 1:24 pm

The Bard theatre opened on April 20th, 1955 with “Underwater” and on stage, Freddie Martell and Buddy Walker. Grand opening ad posted.

rivest266 on January 27, 2020 at 4:46 pm

This reopened as the 79th St. Art Theatre on January 28th, 1961 with “Love and Jealousy” and “Mademoiselle Striptease”. Grand opening ad uploaded.

rivest266 on February 8, 2020 at 11:21 am

This opened as Little River on January 18th, 1949 and closed in 1954. Can someone confirm is this the same building? Ad posted.

MichaelKilgore on April 27, 2021 at 3:52 pm

Boxoffice, Feb. 1, 1960: “The Brandt circuit, which leased the old Bard, former vaudeville house in Little River, completely remodeled the house and reopened it January 21 as the 79th Street Theatre. The 700-seater is running double features at budget prices for the family, 25 and 50 cents for adults and 15 for children. Tom Kiernan, longtime theatre operator at Los Angeles, is the manager.”

David_Schneider on August 26, 2022 at 9:59 am

All Google Street View images for this address show a vacant lot that looks to have been empty for years. I believe the building that contained the 79th Street Twin II Cinema was demolished perhaps decades ago.

The Star Twin discussed in the comments on this page has its own page on Cinema Treasures.

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