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First rooftop theater to open in Miami Beach FL

Share popcorn under the stars and watch classic movies at the new Rooftop Cinema Club South Beach.  You probably won't need the blanket just yet.

Share popcorn under the stars and watch classic movies at the new Rooftop Cinema Club South Beach. You probably won’t need the blanket just yet.

Cinema club on the roof

The first rooftop theater in the Miami area is about to offer you a seat under the stars.

The open-air Rooftop Cinema Club is opening its first Florida venue in June on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach, just across bustling Alton Road from the Regal South Beach multiplex.

However, the Rooftop Cinema Club is a very different experience. You sit outside, eat pizza or popcorn and hold your hand around a cold craft beer or frosty cocktail. You may not have a roof over your head, but at night you can enjoy a great view of the city. You watch movies on an LED screen while wearing wireless headphones.

There are probably no brand new blockbusters either. Instead, Rooftop specializes in older, well-known favorites and classics, kicking off with Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles’ romantic comedy 10 Things I Hate About You. The first month will feature “Pulp Fiction”, “A Nightmare on Elm Street”, “Love and Basketball”, “Friday”, “Superbad”, “Selena” and a “Grease” singalong. There’s even a Marvel movie in the mix, Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Founder Gerry Cottle, who opened the first Rooftop in London’s Shoreditch in 2011, says he grew up wanting to always see his favorite films like Back to the Future and Top Gun on a big screen.

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Rooftop Cinema Club South Beach will feature the brand’s iconic flower wall.

“I was about 7 when they came out,” he says. “Now I want to do it with a beer in hand.”

Cottle, who later opened rooftop venues in New York City, Los Angeles, San Diego and Houston, sees the Rooftop Cinema Club as transforming the way people experience cinema.

“We offer great views, cocktails and socializing. When you watch the film, it’s more than just the film. Come early and play games, socialize, have a cocktail, then party at the movies you love like The Goonies. We’re trying to make it more of an event, more of a date night. If you show up early, you’ll have a whole night.”

The Miami Beach venue, the brand’s largest, serves finger food and pizza, and cocktails can be themed to match the evening’s movie. For example, Cottle says, if the theater is showing “The Big Lebowski,” the drink featured might be a white Russian (The Dude’s adult drink of choice, for those who aren’t fanatics). For “Jaws” maybe a Bloody Mary.

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Snap selfies or play games before the show starts at the Rooftop Cinema Club. You can also order finger food, popcorn, pizza and cocktails. Cinema club on the roof

Opening in the summer in South Florida has its downsides, namely the heat and possible rain. But the cinema won’t show films until after 6pm, and Cottle says they will consider adding fog on the roof if it feels too hot.

As for the rain, he points out that the first cinema was in London, which is famous for its overcast weather. The cinema has a cancellation policy and will warn customers via text message, email or website if an evening showing has to be cancelled. If you have a ticket you can transfer it to another, hopefully drier, night.

The main goal, of course, is to offer a few hours away from the grind, says Cottle.

“Movies have always been about escape, especially in the post-COVID world,” he says. “You switch off and forget about everything else. Now I think our work is more important than ever. We offer complete escapism.”

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Seating options in the Rooftop Cinema Club. Cinema club on the roof

Rooftop Cinema Club South Beach

From where: 1212 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach

Opens: 2th of June

Costs: $19.75 for a seat in the lounge; $23.75 for a lounge seat with popcorn; $27.75 for Adirondack chair and popcorn; $29.75 for love seat and popcorn

Tickets and complete program: Dachkinoclub.com

Connie Ogle loves wine, books and the Miami Heat. Please don’t make her eat a mango.

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