Top Indie Movie Theaters In South Florida

April 28, 2014 8:00 AM

The film industry is changing with more technology allowing single-desk filmmakers to compete with billion dollar studios. The once subversive and sometimes laughable independent scene now has mainstream credibility and the secret that independent filmmakers have know since the early 1900s is out. Independent film is great and while some films maybe too racy, too weird or too off-beat for Hollywood, independent theaters have always made them feel right at home. Now filmmakers and movie mavens alike can enjoy a film from a local filmmaker or from a director that strayed from studios, while sipping on a beer or having dinner and a movie. There are no rules at these venues and once you go, paying $15 for one blockbuster ticket will just seem ridiculous.
Cinema Paradiso
Jerry Herman Ring Theatre, Alvin Sherman Family Stage
503 S.E. 6th St.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
(954) 525-3456

Cinema Paradiso is home to the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF). The event is held once a year but screenings occur year round so local filmmakers can showcase their work and view local contemporaries in the race for the top prize. The venue itself is cozy with one theater in Hollywood and a second location in Fort Lauderdale. The latter’s decor matches the Florida lifestyle with a covered outdoor terrace for event screenings and an indoor movie theater for more traditional viewing. It’s a great place to meet South Florida’s indie scene.

o cinema Top Indie Movie Theaters In South Florida


O Cinema
90 N.W. 29th St.
Miami, FL 33127
(305) 571-9970

Like Cinema Paradiso, O Cinema also has two locations (Miami Shores and Wynwood). Most prefer its Wynwood location because it’s in the middle of South Florida’s art district and so inconspicuous you might miss its graffiti-covered walls. But if you look carefully for the animated lady with the cartoon bubble that says, “O Cinema”, you’ll know you’ve arrived. Once inside, there are light concessions and a quaint theater that is a nice departure from overcrowded theaters. You can watch a Miami International Film Festival (MIFF) film, the latest independent Hollywood films and even have dinner with OMG Dinner and a Movie. The ongoing culinary event is held monthly and moviegoers should check the website for dates and showings.

miami beach cinematheque Top Indie Movie Theaters In South Florida


Miami Beach Cinematheque
1130 Washington Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33139
(305) 673-4567

The newly renovated Miami Beach Cinematheque is an independent theater with style and enough artsy sophistication to lure in wanderers and art house hipsters alike. Nestled on the first floor of Historic City Hall in South Beach, this venue offers creative comforts for book junkies, movie buffs and coffeehouse connoisseurs. Its lobby and coffee shop are lined with stocked bookshelves and its theater is an inviting charcoal gray, which contrasts nicely with its clean, plush, red seats. Watch the latest film from Wes Anderson and other Hollywood independent directors or attend the MIFF and view competitive films. This is the one place where artsy and classy collide.

Related: Best Independent Movie Theaters In Miami 

Coral Gables Art Cinema
260 Aragon Ave.
Coral Gables, FL 33134
(786) 385-9689

Like O Cinema and the Miami Beach Cinematheque, the Coral Gables Art Cinema is a featured venue for MIFF festival films. The theater opened in 2010 and features first-run movies, independent favorites and black and white classics for the film buffs, in addition to screening world class plays. The venue itself is beautiful with its outdoor facade featuring two grandiose columns flanked by lighted palm trees and a covered patio for patrons to sip the wine or beer ordered from the on-site cafe. Inside, it’s just as beautiful with an art gallery and 141-stadium-seat theater. If you haven’t been, this is one venue that is impressive inside and out.

Bill Cosford Cinemas
5030 Brunson Drive, Memorial Building 227
Coral Gables, FL 33124
(305) 284-4861

Film is an education and what better way to educate students than to have an independent cinema on campus? Bill Cosford Cinemas is located on the University of Miami campus and it runs Hollywood indie features, shorts and classic films, aptly titled Cosford Classics. The theater is open to students and non-students alike with tickets just under $10 and is a great place to meet South Florida’s up-and-coming filmmakers.

Related: Best Movies Set In Miami

Niema Hulin was born in Newark, NJ but raised in Lexington, South Carolina for the bulk of her formative years. In 2002, she moved to Miami after graduating from the University of Florida. Since then, Niema has worked in film, television and commercials as a Production Assistant and Production Coordinator. Some of her films have included Bad Boys II and I Am Number IV. Her work can be found at

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