MDC's Tower Theater is one of Miami's oldest cultural landmarks. When it opened
in December of 1926, it was the finest state-of-the-art theater in the South.
In the early 1960s, large numbers of Cuban refugees fled to Miami. The area surrounding
S.W. Eighth Street - "Calle Ocho" - became a place of new beginnings. For many Cuban
families, films at MDC's Tower Theater were an introduction to American culture
in addition to pure entertainment. Soon MDC's Tower Theater altered its programming
to include English-language films with Spanish subtitles, and eventually Spanish-language
films. However, after almost sixty years of operation, MDC's Tower Theater was closed
to the public in 1984.
In 2002, the City of Miami authorized Miami Dade College to manage theater operations.
Now proudly under the auspices of the Cultural Affairs Department, MDC's Tower Theater
continues to serve as a historic gathering place for cultural connections in Little
Havana, where the community can enjoy alternative and culturally specific exhibitions
and performances, free educational lectures given by MDC faculty and other scholars
in our community, and both Spanish-language films and English-language films, subtitled
In 2011, USA Today declared MDC's Tower Theater "one of the 10 great places to see a movie in splendor" in the newspaper's round-up of the best old-fashioned movie palaces in America.