Miami Beach

Miami Beach to get new arts cinema; new deputy police chief sworn in

Mayor Philip Levine swears in Deputy Police Cheif Lauretta Hill.
Mayor Philip Levine swears in Deputy Police Cheif Lauretta Hill. City of Miami Beach

The Miami Beach City Commission approved a new independent cinema in North Beach and welcomed a new deputy police chief Wednesday.

O Cinema will open its third location, in the old Byron-Carlyle Theater, later this fall, after the commission unanimously approved an agreement with the popular independent cinema, which currently has locations in the Wynwood Arts District and Miami Shores.

At 500 71st St. in Miami Beach, O Cinema will operate seven days a week year-round in the building that first opened as a movie theater in 1968. The city bought and renovated the facility in 2001 to use as a rental venue and to host local arts groups, including the Stage Door Theatre.

Now, a single-screen auditorium featuring 35 mm and digital projection and 304 seats will open this fall.

Kareem Tabsch, co-director of O Cinema, said in a statement he was grateful to the City Commission and staff for making it happen.

“We know that a burgeoning community like North Beach, full of wonderful restaurants and charming streets, should have its own neighborhood cinema — a cultural beacon accessible to all,” he said.

The city also welcomed Lauretta Hill, the police department’s new deputy chief, as she was sworn in.

Hill is the highest-ranking African American in the history of the department. Hand-picked by Chief Dan Oates, Hill served 20 years in the police department in Arlington, Texas, where she rose through the ranks to assistant chief and oversaw several major events, including Super Bowl XLV, the 2011 World Series and the 2010 NBA All-Star Game.

Oates said her that experience with special events will be valuable in Miami Beach.

“I’m feel fortunate to have convinced her to join us,” he said.

City Manager Jimmy Morales said she left a strong impression with him after she interviewed for the chief’s position.

“She impressed me with her energy, with her dedication, with her commitment to excellence,” he said.

Her salary will be $176,000.

Hill was greeted warmly by several officers who attended the ceremony.

Commissioner Micky Steinberg expressed her contentment from the dais.

“As a female, I’m especially happy today,” she said.

Follow @joeflech on Twitter.

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