MDC’s Tower Theater Miami is one of Miami’s oldest cultural landmarks. When it opened in December of 1926, it was the finest state-of-the-art theater in the South.
In the early 1960s, large numbers of Cuban refugees fled to Miami. The area surrounding S.W. Eighth Street – “Calle Ocho” – became a place of new beginnings. For many Cuban families, films at MDC’s Tower Theater Miami were an introduction to American culture in addition to pure entertainment. Soon MDC’s Tower Theater Miami altered its programming to include English-language films with Spanish subtitles, and eventually Spanish-language films. However, after almost sixty years of operation, MDC’s Tower Theater Miami was closed to the public in 1984.
In 2002, the City of Miami authorized Miami Dade College to manage theater operations. Now proudly under the auspices of the Cultural Affairs Department, MDC’s Tower Theater Miami continues to serve as a historic gathering place for cultural connections in Little Havana, where the community can enjoy alternative and culturally specific exhibitions and performances, free educational lectures given by MDC faculty and other scholars in our community, and both Spanish-language films and English-language films, subtitled in Spanish.
In 2011, USA Today declared MDC’s Tower Theater Miami “one of the 10 great places to see a movie in splendor” in the newspaper’s round-up of the best old-fashioned movie palaces in America.
Tower Theater is the exclusive home of the Gems Film Festival, presented by Miami Film Festival. Visit TowerTheaterMiami.com.