There are definitely days when people in most of America lament all of the fantastic, innovative cinema they’re missing out on in “cooler” cities like New York and Los Angeles. While they’re watching something Jarmusch at the Angelika, you’re eating stale popcorn questioning Matthew McConaughey’s career choices at Sunset Place.
Miami has seen its share of arthouse cinemas over the years, there was Astor Art Place and the Absinthe House and there’s still Bill Cosford Cinema. We’ve never fully been at a loss for an alt film culture. These theaters have offered independent, foreign and experimental films from all over the world, some airing to empty rooms, others to small packed theaters. Even though we’ve had our few, it’s always nice to have options.
Enter Miami Beach Cinematheque. MBC is a fairly new film house that offers those genres and experiences in a comfortable setting at an affordable price.
MBC is on Espanola Way, a pedestrian only street oddly located off one of the busiest corners of South Beach. Though parking around Espanola sucks, the Mediterranean atmosphere and the great movie options make this worth the space hunt.
The Cinematheque is the headquarters for the Miami Beach International Film Festival and the home base of the Miami Beach Film Society. The theater houses an intimate screening space where chairs are set up in front of a decently sized screen. There’s even a chaise lounge to spread out on. Cinephiles sometimes cue up early, so don’t be late! Though it’s not a popcorn, up-sized soda type place, they do sell some delicious chocolates and espresso to prevent a cocoa coma.
One solution to not feeling like a country bumpkin is getting on the MBC e-mail list and start adding to your agenda. Start by adding tonight’s 8 p.m. tribute to Bruno Barreto with a screening this director’s masterpiece, Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands.