With its dazzling marquee sign and streamlined Art Deco decor, the theater evokes a sense of nostalgia; it harkens back to a time when movies were grand events shown in upscale venues. The cozy lounge even features vintage photography and an exhibit space for local artists.
Tropic Cinema's small screening rooms provide an intimate viewing experience — Photo courtesy of Tropic Cinema
Located just off Duval Street in Old Town, Tropic Cinema has something for everyone, from indie and foreign films to Hollywood blockbusters and documentaries. Cinephiles will love the expertly curated selections that highlight movies that are well-made, artistic and sometimes provocative. This may be your only chance to catch that buzz-worthy or Oscar-nominated film that opened in limited theaters.
They even have showings for the young ones at their Kids' Saturday Movie Club. These morning screenings of children’s faves are perfect for any budget. Kids under 12 get in for a mere $1, and adults pay $2 per ticket.
This dazzling marquee sign at Tropic Cinema evokes a sense of nostalgia — Photo courtesy of Tropic Cinema
Run by friendly volunteers, the three screening rooms are small, with comfortable seating. Patrons tend to be members who appreciate a quiet, courteous viewing experience. This intimate ambience makes for a perfect date night away from the hustle and bustle of Duval Street.
You can sip on wine or beer from the concession stand. The fresh popcorn has real butter and a fixings table, where you can add cheese, salts and other seasonings. Candy, grilled items, ice cream and fresh baked cookies round out the menu.
Art Deco details give the cinema an edgy ambiance — Photo courtesy of Tropic Cinema
Check their online calendar for a wide variety of events, which range from jazz concerts to literary lectures. You'll also find only-in-Key-West happenings, like a red carpet viewing of Grease, where attendees dress as their favorite characters. During the Key West Food and Wine Festival, they’ve combined vino-themed movies with wine tastings.
If you’re a frequent visitor to Key West or a seasonal resident, you may want to get a membership. You'll receive discounts on tickets, special invitations to members-only events, such as advance screenings, and emails with reviews of upcoming movies.
Proceeds from the box office aren’t enough to cover the costs for this gem of a theater. In fact, it’s been membership donations that have kept the theater thriving for over 10 years. Tropic Cinema creates a sense of community. Instead of just casually “going to the movies,” you become a participant in a society of like-minded movie appreciators.
Don’t forget to pose for a photo with the life-sized Marilyn Monroe statue when you leave!
The statue of Marilyn Monroe is perfect for a photo op — Photo courtesy of Grammaticus Bramlington