If you love experiencing independent and alternative films, and live in Coral Gables, you have a new home. It’s the remarkably stunning state-of the-art Coral Gables Art Cinema at 260 Aragon Avenue, just across the street from the popular Books and Books.
This is simply one of the best and most comfortable venues for experiencing independent, alternative and international film in South Florida, with first run, seven-day-a-week presentations in both 35mm and true industry-standard theater quality digital projection.
The Coral Gables Art Cinema project was conceived of in 2006. An informal partnership was formed between the City of Coral Gables, Magna-Tech Electronic Co. and the Coral Gables Community foundation.
The city owns the building and the theater is operated as a non-profit 501(c)3 film arts organization, under a favorable long-term lease. Steven and Myrna-Blumberg Krams, along with the City of Coral Gables, provided funding.
“A non-profit arts organization like the Coral Gables Art Cinema can only thrive with the support of the community and the audience that we serve. One of the ways that support happens is by people volunteering their time and their talents,” says Robert Rosenberg, its director.
A range of film industry companies has contributed major in-kind contributions of professional movie theater equipment, furnishings, fixtures and installations. The theater also features a museum like showcase of antique technical equipment in its modern lobby. Other major supporters include the Bacardi Corporation, Miami-Dade County and individual donors and members who have joined to make the Cinema a reality.
Since its opening, the theatre has orchestrated regional premieres of quality American independent and international features, and fiction and documentaries. They also present classic films, special programs and film festival events, which speaks to the multilingual and multicultural diversity of South Florida.
Since opening October 15, 2010, some of the films that have played include: Freakonomics, Howl, Eyes Wide Open, La Yuma, Enter the Void, Kings of Pastry, Undertow (Contracorriente), Monsters, The Freebie, White Material, White Wedding, All Good Things, Southern District (Zona Sur), and My Dog Tulip and Rage (Rabia). This week, a documentary on Phil Ochs, a 1960’s folk singer, opens.
The theater seats 141 in a stadium configuration, plus accessible wheelchair spaces, with an on-site gallery, and a gourmet café serving beer and wine is under development.
A public garage adjacent to their venue makes parking readily accessible.
Not surprisingly, Rosenberg explains, many theatergoers are making the journey from Broward to be part of the cleanliness of the venue. Typically, the type of films the Gables has presented rarely appears in Broward outside of the antique and tragically dated Gateway Theatre.
Tickets to all regular screenings are $9 general admission; $7 for seniors 65 and over and full-time students. Tickets may be purchased at the box office up to one week in advance.
Members pay just $6 at regular screenings for a full year plus receive other benefits depending on level. Visit their website at www.gablescinema.com for more information.
Rosenberg also mentioned the theater needs volunteers with unique skills, “We especially need you if you have more specific, technical skills and can assist us with areas such as website design and maintenance, graphic design, and database design and management.”