O Cinema Partners with Miami Theater Center to Bring Films Back to Miami Shores

O Cinema and Miami Theater Center partner to launch major film initiative in Miami Shores

 We’re pleased to announce our partnership with the Miami Theater Center.  O Cinema will manage, curate, and present screenings of art-house, independent, classic and family-friendly films at the venue in Miami Shores as part of MTCfilm, an initiative to bring cinema back to Miami Shores.

Blue Skies (starring Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, and Joan Caulfield) will be the inaugural film screened on Oct. 13 at 7 p.m., coinciding with a family-friendly street fair in the Village of Miami Shores. Blue Skies was also the first movie shown at the theater in 1946, when the venue opened as Paramount Movies. Tickets are $10.50 for adults and $5 for children ( a special one time price). There is ample free parking available on the street and in public lots on 98th Street and Second Avenue. Only 150 tickets are available for this special event.

In addition to a regular year-round calendar of ongoing screenings shown in partnership with O Cinema, MTCfilm will showcase movies that deepen audience understanding of MTC’s main stage. For example, to complement MTC’s upcoming production of Anton Chekov’s Three Sisters, MTCfilm might screen a series of films that explore Russian culture and history.

The partnership is even more remarkable, considering that until recently movie screenings were not permitted in Miami Shores. Discussions for bringing films back to this former movie palace began in 2010. O Cinema had been looking for a temporary home in advance of the opening of their Wynwood location, and MTC offered their venue. During this process, MTC learned that a ban had been put into place decades ago, after the community was alarmed by risqué films being screened for 99-cent admission. After winning a seat on the village council in April 2011, Miami Shores Chamber of Commerce executive director Jesse Walters sponsored legislation to once again screen films in the Shores. The ordinance passed unanimously in November 2011.

After the laws were changed, MTC’s executive director Elaiza Irizarry and artistic director Stephanie Ansin re-approached O Cinema about bringing film to Miami Shores. The resulting partnership will allow O Cinema to present a schedule of about 300 screenings during the 2012-2013 season. The film offerings will include first-run independent, foreign, art-house and family-friendly films as well as classics and simulcasts of some of the world’s leading opera, ballet and music events. The theater seats 330 and is fully ADA-compliant, including 20 assistive-listening devices and seating for ten wheelchairs, and boasts a state-of-the-art HD projection system.

Founding Artistic Director Stephanie Ansin is appreciative of the MTC board, who helped make the idea of films in the Shores into reality. “I want to thank MTC’s executive director Elaiza Irizarry and our attorneys, and Alexander Tachmes and David Coviello.Without their hard work, O Cinema and MTC would not have been able to realize this vision,” Ansin said.

“At the crux of our curatorial vision is to bring Miami audiences thought-provoking films that they otherwise wouldn’t see, which entertain and inspire dialogue,” said Kareem Tabsch, O Cinema co-founder and co-director. Added co-director Vivian Marthell: “Our Wynwood location will continue to showcase the documentary-driven, art-influenced and edgy film programming that we’re known for. Our expansion in Miami Shores will allow us to augment that programming with more narrative-based, foreign, family-friendly and classic films.”

The full MTCfilm schedule will be available on the MTC website (www.mtcmiami.org) and O Cinema’s website (www.o-cinema.org) as well as advertised in popular media outlets and on cultural calendars (including Miami New Times and WLRN’s Cultural Connection). Tickets for individual movies can be purchased at the box office starting one hour before films begin or by visiting O Cinema’s website.

Formerly known as The PlayGround Theatre, the Miami Theater Center programs include MTCplayground, which produces theater, camps, and programs for children; MTCperformance, innovative theater, dance and music; MTCtraining, professional training for all aspects of the performing arts and MTCfilm, cinema that contextualizes our live performances along with art house and independent films in partnership with O Cinema. For more information, call 305-751-9550 or visit MTC online at www.mtcmiami.org.

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