Miami's diverse, thriving indie cinema scene is about to get even bigger. O Cinema, named the Best Art House Cinema in this year's New Times Best Of Miami issue, will open a second location in Miami Shores in October.
O Cinema at MTC, as the new location will be called, is partnering with the 330-seat Miami Theater Center, formerly PlayGround Theatre, at 9806 NE Second Ave. in Miami Shores to show films Thursday through Sunday. The theater is new to O Cinema, but not for movie-goers in history; the building dates to 1946, and was built originally as a movie house.
Theatrical performances at the Miami Theater Center will continue; O Cinema and the theatre company will share the space. "We're thrilled to be working with the Miami Theater Center," O Cinema co-founder and Cultist contributor Kareem Tabsch said. "Stephanie Ansin and Elaiza Irizary are amazing people who have built the region's greatest children's theater. It's awesome to work with people who share our vision and dedication to the growth of Miami's cultural community. It's a new era for the performing and cinematic arts in Miami."
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"The programming will be different [from the Wynwood location]," Tabsch explained. "In Wynwood, we're in an arts district; it's very artsy, very edgy, and very young.... We're documentary/late night/grindhouse/ridiculous."
O Cinema at MTC, on the other hand, will offer films geared to its local audience, a community, Tabsch says, made up of "older people, young families, and gay couples. Then of course we're closer to some of the city's Jewish enclaves." That means filling the theater's schedule with more films for kids, classics, LGBT programming, and more "narrative-based" movies to appeal to that set.
Case in point: O Cinema at MTC's first film: Blue Skies, a musical comedy starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire -- the first film shown after the theater's original opening in 1946. Tabsch said more films will be confirmed in the coming weeks. It'll help launch the space as a movie theater once more October 13.