By: Shayne Benowitz
Miami offers a variety of things to do for film buffs.
From world-class film festivals to a dynamic field of independent cinemas, Miami is a movie town. Whether you’re visiting during a festival or simply looking to cool off in the air-conditioning of a dark theater while you’re transported to another world, here’s your guide to film in Miami.
The Miami International Film Festival is the marquee festival of the year, bringing together both established and emerging filmmakers since 1983. The festival has attracted stars like Sarah Jessica Parker, William H. Macy, Jeff Goldblum and Catherine Keener. Produced by Miami-Dade College since 2003, the festival screens films at various theaters throughout Miami every March.
Other film festivals that take place throughout the year include:
For Hollywood blockbusters and a classic movie-going experience, Miami’s neighborhoods have plenty of mega-plexes to choose from, like the Regal South Beach Stadium 18 & IMAX on Lincoln Road, AMC 24 in Sunset Place and Aventura, and the Cobb Miami Lakes 17. Some of these theaters even offer a premium theatergoing experience, like the Cobb Cinebistro at Dolphin Mall and the Cinepolis Coconut Grove, where you can reserve your seat ahead of time and order from a café-style menu to enjoy during the flick.
For the latest indie flicks, documentaries and foreign films, head to one of Miami’s independent cinemas. From historic Art Deco gems to new cutting edge art houses, they’re full of character and intrigue, much like the movies flickering on their screens.
Miami Beach Cinematheque
Miami Beach Cinematheque is home to the Miami Beach Film Society where they screen movies inside the historic Miami Beach City Hall. Located in the heart of South Beach’s Art Deco District on Washington Avenue, this is the place to catch those Sundance and Cannes Film Festival premieres.
With its original location in Wynwood, O Cinema has branched out to theaters in North Miami Beach and Miami Shores. With an indie-hipster vibe, come here to catch the latest foreign flick or Academy Award hopeful before the Oscars. They also host fun events like Dinner and a Movie in collaboration with local gourmet restaurants.
Coral Gables Art Cinema
Located across the street from Miami’s independent bookstore, Books & Books in the City Beautiful, Coral Gables Art Cinema is your destination for intelligent movie-going. Expect the very latest in art house and foreign films here.
Originally opened in 1926, Tower Theater is found in the heart of Little Havana on Calle Ocho. The historic movie house is now under the guardianship of Miami-Dade College and is a cornerstone of Little Havana’s flourishing cultural scene.
Bill Cosford Cinema
Located on the campus of the University of Miami, the Bill Cosford Cinema is a center for student life. Screening films, ballets and operas, it’s also used as a lecture hall. If you’re a fan of short films, catch the Oscar contenders here.
New World Symphony Soundscape Park
The New World Symphony’s Soundscape Park is in a category of its own. Designed by star architect Frank Gehry, the building features a 7,000-square-foot wall that doubles as a movie screen. Bring a picnic and blanket on Wednesday evenings when they screen classic films of epic proportions that are well suited to the venue.
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