O Cinema arrives in North Beach on Nov. 7.
Only a few months after the idea was first discussed, the popular independent cinema will open its Miami Beach location in the Byron-Carlyle Theater at 500 71st St. with the highly anticipated film Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), starring Michael Keaton and Emma Stone.
“This came together in record timing,” said O Cinema co-founder and co-director Kareem Tabsch. “Quicker than anything else we’ve done.”
With about $100,000 of new digital projection equipment and already-existing 35-mm projection, the single-screen auditorium with 304 seats will serve a community that has buzzed for months in anticipation. The theater will have a movie-palace feel, with two levels of seating and velvet curtains.
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“It feels like you’re walking into a theater from a bygone area,” Tabsch said.
The Byron-Carlyle Theater first opened as a movie theater in 1968. In 2001, the city bought and renovated the space to use a rental venue and for local arts groups, like the Stage Door Theatre.
During the summer, Tabsch took a tour of the theater with Graham Winick, the Beach’s film and event production manager, and Max Sklar, director of tourism, culture and economic development.
Tabsch said it didn’t take long for everyone to realize they had an opportunity to bring a new cultural landmark to the buzzing North Beach.
“I go to North Beach often, because there’s so many restaurants and it’s so walkable,” he said.
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