Coral Gables

‘Jaws’ takes a bite out of Coral Gables’ Miracle Theatre again

Steven Spielberg’s great white shark swam back to Miracle Mile after a 38-year absence and frightened more than 1,000 guests of Actors’ Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre on Saturday, Aug. 31, and Sunday, Sept. 1.

Jaws originally screened at The Miracle in the summer of 1975, sending lines around the block and existing in the memory of thousands for decades as the Miracle transformed from a cinema house to a Carbonnel-winning regional theater over the years. The Miracle launched its new free film series over the weekend with a late-night Saturday show and Sunday afternoon screening and chose Jaws to make an impact.

“This was a cult film, and we are adding a few cult films to generate the younger generation late-night [crowd] to create theatergoers for the future,” said Actors’ Playhouse Executive Producing Director Barbara Stein.

Though Jaws certainly was bigger than a cult film and is credited with creating the summer blockbuster, The Rocky Horror Picture Show will be the next “cult” film to screen at The Miracle on Oct. 26. Otherwise, the films are paired to complement the theater’s plays and musicals. Next up: The Bad Seed on Sept. 21-22 to pair with a production of Ruthless! The Musical.

For Jaws, the Miracle staff decorated the lobby with nautical items like boating rope and wooden crates and an oversized set of shark jaws to approximate how the old theater originally got into the spirit of the New England fish tale’s decor in ’75. The snack bar also sold Narragansett beer, the same kind Robert Shaw’s Quint character guzzles on the Orca. Moviegoer Barbara Colonna, 44, had never seen Jaws and reacted to the intensity much in the same way people did during its original run: Hands over mouth, eyes agog. “The suspense was killing me but at the same time I was totally fascinated by the shark,” she said.

“We are overwhelmed by the community’s enthusiasm for the new Rediscover the Miracle Community Film Series,” Stein said.

Follow @HowardCohen on Twitter.

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