Boca Raton Theatre

2140 N. Federal Highway,
Boca Raton, FL 33431

Unfavorite No one has favorited this theater yet

Showing 21 comments

dallasmovietheaters on September 8, 2022 at 8:36 am

Wometco announced its 1,000-seat Boca Raton Theatre in 1963 with a groundbreaking and time capsule ceremony November 28, 1963 attended by the Mayor of Boca Raton. The venue had an open house on May 26, 1964 followed by a World Premiere showing of “Flipper’s New Adventure” on May 27, 1964 to open the theatre. Mitzie, the porpoise who played Flipper, was transported from Miami to Boca to attend the premiere as was local Channel 6 personality Chuck Zink in his role as “Popeye Playhouse” emcee Skipper Chuck.

The theatre operated on a 20-year lease. Not long after the half-way point, a plan was drawn up to divide the auditorium into two. As noted above, the venue relaunched as a twin on June 25, 1976 with “The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With The Sea” and Walt Disney’s “Peter Pan” with “The Horse with the Flying Tail.” The venue then closed quietly on August 16, 1984 with “"Revenge of the Nerds” and “The Philadelphia Experiment.”

rivest266 on September 8, 2022 at 8:10 am

Grand opening ad posted.

Curtains on March 27, 2014 at 12:29 pm

I write a blog in which I watch every single movie shown at the Boca Raton Theatre:

(Note: the thumbnail picture is not of the theater, but of the Sabal Point condominium, which was constructed during the first year the theater was open. I haven’t been able to find a photo of the theater.)

Snook on March 27, 2014 at 9:46 am

It was a really big deal when The Sting ran there for so long. I remember The Boca Raton News having an editorial about it. Very common for films to run at sites for a long time, 40-something weeks was special. I remember Serpico and Billie Jack being at Deerfield Drive Inn every week for a couple months in this period. We memorized them.

Curtains on August 10, 2012 at 11:37 am

Opening Day: May 27, 1964 – FLIPPER’S NEW ADVENTURE



sporridge on June 12, 2011 at 3:35 pm

There was also a time when, as with other Wometco locations, you received a token for admission and entered via turnstiles (making one usher redundant). Think they did eventually revive paper tickets toward the end. Some friends couldn’t set foot there due to that “funky smell,” they suspected mold in the wall treatments and curtains.

Curtains on June 12, 2011 at 2:04 pm

I remember the red curtains. I don’t think they were ever cleaned because by the early ‘80s they lent a characteristic funky smell to the theater. I also recall that till the end there was a 1960s vintage vending machine that dispensed grape soda or whatever into a paper cup. A couple of my high school friends were employed there at the very end, and I remember they were very sad it was closing. In fact I think they attempted to start a campaign to keep it open. Despite its quaintness it was a fairly charming theater.

sporridge on June 12, 2011 at 10:35 am

Curtains: As with other 70s twin theatre conversions in the area (Pompano Cinema, Boynton Cinema), Wometco built a wall down the middle of the original BRT to achieve twinning. Each twin was indeed larger and deeper than the Boca Mall 6’s shoebox style, but the reduction of screen space was a definite loss.

There wasn’t much to the interior — Wometco had stopped doing its architectural flourishes by then. It was your basic rectangle with (IIRC) red wall treatments (after twinning, one side was redone in aqua, also IIRC). The box office/lobby/concession area was a long corridor, running along the adjoining restaurant space (eventually McDonald’s).

While searching Google News' archives, found an item from The Boca Raton News (defunct) about an early 70s proposal to relocate the BRT to a smaller space within the Fifth Avenue Shops.

Curtains on June 12, 2011 at 9:07 am

What I’m curious about is, when this place was “twinned” was it just divided in two or was an annex added to the building? Because I remember the post-twinning theaters as being rather large – bigger than the Boca Mall 6’s theaters I’d guess. So if the two theaters were originally one that one would’ve been huge. Does anyone remember the layout of the interior?

THE STING played this theater for almost six months, from Christmas of 1973 to June 1974. E.T. played here for exactly six months, from June to December 1982.

sporridge on June 5, 2011 at 8:19 am

Regarding the street view (nice addition, CT!): The BRT was behind the McDonald’s displayed above, its former space now occupied by a drive-thru lane and additional parking.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on December 13, 2010 at 12:04 pm

I would loved to have seen the theatres under screen.maybe someone will find a picture.thanks,S Porridge.

sporridge on December 11, 2010 at 1:08 pm

Mike, noticed you left comment under Deerfield Beach’s Gold Coast Drive-In — that’s the one you’re thinking of with the “Mini Theatres.” GCD-I and the BRT were approximately five miles apart along U.S. 1. Competitors by the 1970s would’ve been the Ultravision a few blocks north of GCD-I, and AMC Boca Mall 6 a mile south of BRT, also on U.S. 1. All gone by the late 80s, only the Boca Mall had a subsequent replacement, Mizner Park.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on December 11, 2010 at 10:18 am

WOW,what a small world.I have heard about a Drive-in there that had small cinemas UNDER the Screen.Any Info?

sporridge on December 11, 2010 at 10:01 am

“Scrooge” was another Cinema Center Films exclusive for BRT, and I was there! Left a newly minted Alec Guinness fan.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on December 11, 2010 at 9:46 am

“SCROOGE” opens Dec 6 1970 here with shows starting at 2 pm til the last show at 10pm.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on December 11, 2010 at 8:23 am

“LITTLE BIG MAN” had a nice run here in 1971.

rivest266 on January 30, 2010 at 11:00 am

I like that one. They don’t say how wide are they.

sporridge on January 30, 2010 at 10:13 am

“Wall to wall screens” — in glaringly narrower spaces. The things you can get away with in ad copy (mea culpa, I’ve done some, too).

rivest266 on January 30, 2010 at 9:42 am

Two cinemas on June 24th, 1976. ad is at View link

sporridge on July 25, 2009 at 4:17 pm

Sorry — that should be “Shadowood,” one “w.”

sporridge on July 25, 2009 at 1:37 pm

A world premiere, “Flipper’s Big Adventure,” inaugurated the Boca Raton Theatre on May 27, 1964 — with proof that Wometco was well practiced at synergy years before the term caught on. Boxoffice Magazine from that week reported:

“… Open house will be staged Tuesday (26), featuring a live TV show of Popeye’s Playhouse, emceed by Skipper Chuck Zink from Wometco’s WTVJ-TV in Miami, followed by a fashion show with commentator Jackie Pierce, also of WTVJ-TV. However, the real star of the open house and opening night activities will be Flipper, the Miami Seaquarium (also Wometco owned – sporridge) porpoise, who will be on display in a portable pool.” That would’ve been a 60-mile trek each way for Flipper.

“The new theatre has acoustically perfect sound, peripheral vision screen, a smoking loge which will be called the University lounge in honor of the new Florida Atlantic University which opens in September in Boca Raton, rocking chair seats, staggered wide-spaced seating, air conditioning and a large free parking area.”

It was still finely tuned when I made my first visit as an eight-year-old, as the BRT had the local exclusive on “A Boy Named Charlie Brown” (further synergy: WTVJ was a CBS affiliate, and Wometco had a lock on that and other CBS Cinema Center Films presentations). While twinning (in 1976) was an economic necessity, it became painfully obvious that the building was narrower in the front and wider further back. Much grumbling when the likes of “Return of the Jedi” was shoehorned onto both shrunken screens.

In its later years, the BRT often showed art films after their runs at Wometco’s Sunset Theatre, Coral Gables. The final schedule in September 1984: “Revenge of the Nerds” and “The Philadelphia Experiment.” Wometco later returned to West Boca with one of its last new builds, the Shadowwood 12 (later 16).