How to Hit Miami Film Festival Like a Local
February 28, 2017
We know Miami Film Festival is all about, well, the movies. But if you’re going to be making an effort to get out of the house, why not make a day or night of it all? As locals, we understand that things like traffic, parking, and even tourists can turn you off from making a commitment, but this year’s record-breaking number of films can’t be missed. So, we’re making an all-local itinerary for each of their big venues, so there’s never a doubt that you’re proud to experience the brilliant culture in your own back yard.
Coral Gables Arts Cinema
Parking: Construction in the area is making parking harder to find than usual, so try to catch showings pre or post rush hour times to and give yourself ample time to find a spot before the show.
Sips: Grab a drink at Books & Books across the street for double local points by enjoying live jazz by some of Miami’s rising musicians.
Eats: Hungry? Our picks would be Izakaya for some of the freshest nigiri in town, or The Local aptly named for its homegrown tastes and beer selection.
Our Picks: That Thing Called Love, It’s Only The End Of The World, Maria.
MDC Tower Theater
Parking: It may be hard to find during peak hours, so we suggest either ride-sharing, or parking your car at either the Government Center or Brickell MetroRail stations and hopping on the Little Havana circulator.
Sips: Make a night of it by walking into the historic Ball & Chain across the street, or swinging at Cuba Ocho or Hoy Como Ayer along Calle Ocho.
Eats: Our meal pairings consist of Azucar Ice Cream for sweetness, Lung Yai Thai Tapas for a perfect date night, or both.
Our Picks: The Lost Brother, Give Me Future, The Bar, Carrie Pilby.
O Cinema Miami Beach
Parking: This may be the easiest theater on the list to get to, with a spacious parking lot just one block north on 72nd and tons of street parking in the area.
Sips: Collins Ave has quite a selection of bars and hangs, but we suggest checking the North Beach Bandshell‘s programming to see if they have a live show you can end the night with.
Eats: Food-wise, North Beach is one of Miami’s best kept destinations. You can find everything you want here, from Mexican and Peruvian, to Argentinian, Indian, and even conveyor belt sushi.
Our Picks: Dubfire: Above Ground Level, Smoke & Mirrors, Lipstick Under My Burkha, The Dancer, Are We Not Cats.
Parking: We all know Downtown parking is no joke, so avoid the laughter and park at a MetroRail stop like Brickell Station to hop on the (free) Metromover and alleviate a headache.
Sips: The historic theater is a great place to linger, but you can also head to the rooftop bar, Pawnbroker at The Langford Hotel just a block away and continue sipping deeper into Miami’s past.
Eats: Downtown has an overwhelming collection of some of Miami’s best eateries. Try Niu Kitchen for Spanish tapas, PB Station for exquisite American gourmet, Alloy Bistro Gourmet for haute Mediterranean, or Sparky’s Barbecue if you’re feeling patriotic–all within walking distance.
Our Picks: The History of Love, Last Days in Havana, A Change of Heart, An Evening with Rossy De Palma.
Regal South Beach 18
Parking: Thankfully the Lincoln Road theater has a parking lot adjacent to the venue that your movie ticket gets a validation for. Don’t over stay your welcome, though, prices rise when you’re having fun.
Sips: Because the essence of the promenade is to walk, play the tourist and make it down near Collins Ave., take a left on James and head to The Regent Cocktail Club for a nightcap with pizzaz. Or grab a brew at Abbey Brewing Co., a historical staple.
Eats: Look away from the crowds and find Yardbird Southern Table & Bar one block south, Drunken Dragon along Alton Road, or head to the Purdy Ave. area for local favorites like Lucali, Pubbelly, and Paradigm Kitchen.
Our Picks: “Business” and “As Time Goes By” in the Shorts Competition, Straight Out of Miami: Rakontur Previews New Work, Afterimage, Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On.
Bonus: Get in the zone and take a yoga class at Tropical Vinyasa before heading out for the night.