The Coral Gables Art Cinema is expanding by adding an additional screening room to broaden its mission of promoting the art of film to Miami. Construction has started and should be complete by summer 2024.
As one of the only independent art cinemas left in the city, they are accepting donations and fundraising to expand the operation soon. Miami is known for its lively atmosphere full of art and creativity that attracts worldwide visitors, but arthouse theater’s seem to be overlooked by the city.
Commercial movies are constantly getting released and gaining a lot of public attention, but a broader range of movies are found at the art cinema; from well known classics to foreign and art house films. The movies favor a wider target, giving access to niche interests. It’s important for people to have access to different ideas and unique films apart from blockbuster movies.
Maximillian Zarran, the general manager of the cinema, is a film school graduate with a background in photography, acting, and theater. He understands the importance of inclusivity and enriching the community with different genres of art and the impact it carries.
“It’s important to the community because there’s a lot of tastes of the people down here, you know it needs to be a priority,” stated Zarran. “And we listen a lot, I think that’s what’s important.”
Zarran emphasizes that the cinema works to broaden people’s horizons by giving them access to unique films. This also introduces viewers to other programs that aren’t advertised like mainstream movies.
Film lovers within the community are aware of what the cinema has to offer and how they can find exactly what they are looking for, along with being introduced to new genres. It creates a space where people can discover new things and new interests, which brings the greater community together.
“We are a group of friends that enjoy movies, and every Friday we come to the movies. We enjoy movies that are cinematographically interesting, and after the movie we always discuss what we think about it and our opinions, we then go to dinner and we enjoy it.” Stated Silvia Perez, a Miami local who visits the cinema often.
She and a group of friends explained their love for cinematography. For years they have been coming together with a shared interest in film. Places like the arthouse, brings people together and gives them the opportunity to fulfill their hobbies and passions.
Maxwell Dickinson, TV Production student at FIU, said the arts cinema is one of his favorite places and has been going for years. He enjoys the cinema for its vast variety of screenings, including older films that are sometimes played in their original print.
“I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey there for its 50th anniversary a few years ago, and they had a 70mm print, and it just blew my mind,” Dickinson stated.
The Coral Gables Art Cinema holds educational value as well. Dickinson attended the filmmaking summer camp hosted by the Florida Film Institute; it helped him gain a better understanding of the field. He wishes the city would give more support to institutions such as the art cinema. Although Miami promotes itself as an arts city, it does not give enough funding to film.
Zarran explained the city can promote not only its business, but the arts in general by taking more chances on art facilities. The city offers many art galleries and museums but little art cinemas; he made it a point that adding more variety such as bringing performance art and different mediums would benefit the community.
“They took a chance on this place and it’s really paid off and people are really excited about it and I can tell just by the people that come in. So more variety and taking more chances I think would be good,” said Zarran.
The new screen room is being built next door across the parking garage of the building.
“It’ll be smaller than the auditorium we have now but it’s going to have different seats and it’s going to have a more retro style for the theater. It’ll be cool,” commented Zarran.
The major goals for the expansion have been met but donations are still being accepted. Donations can be made on the Coral Gables Art Cinema website and in person at the concession stands.