Visiting Members Program: Tip of the Sunshine State

The Art House Convergence Visiting Members Program provides reciprocal membership benefits to members from all of its participating theaters. Are you a devoted art house member ready for adventure? Art House Convergence is providing travel tips and resources for film aficionados ready to visit some of the United States’ best art houses.

This spring break escape the cold clutches of winter and travel down to the tip of Florida, where you’ll be able to soak up the sun while checking out four amazing art houses across three cities, a National Park, and the southernmost point of the continental US while traveling over 40 bridges and miles of beaches. While only a four hour drive, there’s enough along this famed stretch to last four days (or longer).

The Classic Gateway Theatre, Fort Lauderdale, FL

Since 1951 – The Classic Gateway Theatre has dimmed the lights for crowds of moviegoers. Featuring an eclectic mix of first run upscale and independent films, as well as the occasional mainstream hit. Audience members walk into a spacious lobby with a sit down café and the theatre’s long history gracing the walls while the smell of the world’s best popcorn engulfs you – before settling into their seats in the renovated all digital auditoriums with new reclining leather rocker seats. In addition to regular movies, the theatre hosts special events such as indie & LGBT film festivals.

The Coral Gables Art Cinema Coral Gables, FL

The Coral Gables Art Cinema is a state-of-the-art theater that opened in October of 2010 and is one of the best, most comfortable, and highest grossing art houses in South Florida, presenting first-run and regional premieres of quality American independent and international features, both fiction and documentary, in addition to classic films, special programs and film festival events, which speak to the multilingual and multicultural diversity of the region.

O Cinema Miami, FL

Located in the heart of the historic Art Deco District, O Cinema South Beach brings the best in independent, foreign and art films to South Florida audiences year-round. Located inside Historic City Hall at the corner of Washington Avenue and 12 street, the theater boasts sophisticated European-inspired design and offers affordable and engaging cultural alternatives to the nightlife of the area.

Tropic Cinema Key West, FL

The Tropic Cinema opened its doors in Old Town Key West in 2004. They had one simple idea: to bring quality movies to people who longed for something more than Hollywood blockbusters. Their artistically diverse island community deserved to see amazing independent films, international favorites and cinematic classics — film that appealed to folks who value going beyond the usual. What started as a small, two-screen nonprofit theater quickly expanded to a four-screen multiplex with state-of-the-art digital projection, an art gallery, extensive concessions, and lounge.

On the Road…

En route from Fort Lauderdale to Miami to Key West, stop off at a National Park, visit the sites (and cats!) of a literary landmark, and catch the sunset from the the lowest latitude marker of the continental United States.

The Kampong  Miami, FL

While in Miami, head to the Coconut Grove neighborhood to visit The Kampong botanical garden. Located on Biscayne Bay, The Kampong is one of five locations of the National Tropical Botanical Garden, a non-profit dedicated to tropical plant research and conservation. The garden is located on the former estate of horticulturalist David Fairchild and contains plant collections from Southeast Asia, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. Be sure to book a tour in advance.

Calle Ocho Miami, FL

Located in the heart of Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood, Calle Ocho is home to Cuban restaurants, bars,  shops, and Domino Park. Restaurants in the area include the well-known Versailles which frequently tops must-try lists and regularly attracts combination of locals and tourists, El Cristo where the menu highlights include seafood and Cuban sandwiches, and Sanguich de Miami where twists on classic sandwiches have earned the eatery the accolades of best sandwich in the city.

Everglades National Park Homestead, FL

Driving South from Miami to Key West you will pass Everglades National Park “an unparalleled landscape that provides important habitat for numerous rare and endangered species like the manatee, American crocodile, and the elusive Florida panther.”  Access this largest subtropical wilderness in the U.S. through its main entrance in Homestead, Florida. From the Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center, you can drive to the Royal Palm Visitor Center to access Pine Island hiking trails or head to the Flamingo Marina for kayaking.

Florida Keys

En route to Key West you will pass through the 44 islands of the Florida Keys. Visit Indian Key Historic State Park (accessible only by boat) to kayak seagrass flats and visit 19th century ruins,  Curry Hammock State Park for its mangrove swamps, or the picturesque beaches of Bahia Hondo State Park for swimming and kayaking. Stop throughout for fresh seafood, conch fritters, and the local classic Key Lime Pie (the area features multiple contenders for best in the U.S. including Kermit’s Key West Key Lime Shoppe)

The Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum Key West, FL

Located just half a mile from Tropic Cinema in Old Town Key West is The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum. Hemingway lived and wrote in Key West for ten years, and the home has been preserved with many of his design and decorative flourishes including 18th century furniture, tropical gardens, and in-ground swimming pool (an incredible luxury in the 1930s). While touring the property be sure to keep your eyes open for the large population of polydactyl cats.

Southernmost Point Buoy

Once you made it to Key West stop at Southernmost Point Buoy, the southernmost point of the continental U.S. and the perfect place to catch your breath and maybe a sunset.