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The Arts in Key West

Thanks to a wealth of talented artists and community leaders who’ve created numerous non-profits and not-for-profit initiatives, the Florida Keys has quietly become one of the best destinations in the U.S. for the arts. Learn all about the places and people that have made the Florida Keys such a fantastic art destination below!

a store front at night

Tropic Cinema

Tropic Cinema is a uniquely Key West institution and an absolute must visit for any fan of the arts in Key West. This retro-style four-screen movie theater is easily the best place to see a movie in Key West. A rotating collection of films including incredible classics, contemporary art-house, and everything in between means you’ll always be able to find a film worth seeing at Tropic Cinema. Best of all this locally-owned and operated theater is a registered non-profit dedicated to promoting films beyond the biggest hollywood blockbusters. Visit Tropic Cinema and you’ll be treated to one of the best theater experiences in the U.S.!

a group of people sitting at a table in front of a crowd

Key West Film Festival

Come see where passion meets paradise — the Key West Film Festival (KWFF). This incredible film festival is hosted every year in November at Southernmost Point in Key West — also the southernmost point in the continental U.S. The Key West Film Festival strives to showcase the artistic talent of Florida’s movie makers while also supporting local film students with scholarships and opportunities. With many major publications in the film industry present including the Los Angeles Times, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Washington Post, Roger Ebert, and more, it’s no surprise that the Key West Film Festival has become a key stop for filmmakers on the way to the Academy Awards. Key West Film Festival 2022 will be held November 16-20 so make sure to get your tickets in advance!

a person throwing a frisbee at the beach

Dance Key West

Founded by visionary dancer and choreographer Kyla Piscopink, Dance Key West has been putting on incredible performances in the Florida Keys for over 13 years. In this time they’ve helped grow and develop a vibrant contemporary dance community in Key West. This non-profit dance studio in Key West offers free classes for budding dancers and choreographers alike. Through their program “Telling My Story” they’ve empowered previously incarcerated people to share their stories through the fascinating and thought-provoking medium of dance. Even if you have never been to a dance performance, you owe it to yourself to see one of Dance Key West’s productions in person.

Marathon Community Theater

Beginning in 1944 as a traveling troupe called the “Marathon Little Theater”, the Marathon Community Theater held its early productions at restaurants, hotels, City Hall and even the local high school. Now the Marathon Community Theater operates a beautiful venue and hosts a wide variety of artistic events including four main-stage theatrical productions, intimate gallery readings, public art shows, concerts, community dance showcases, annual variety show fundraiser, children’s summer theater program and the ever-popular Drag Queen Bingo!

a sign on the side of the street

The Waterfront Playhouse

The Waterfront Playhouse has been entertaining the Key West audiences for over 80 years. Located in the heart of Key West’s historic Mallory Square, this not-for-profit, professional theater attracts locals and tourists alike with a wide range of theatrical productions. The Playhouse is a small and intimate theater located just steps away from Key West’s nightly sunset celebration. Recent productions include Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, The Rocky Horror Show, Hair, Young Frankenstein, and Reefer Madness. The Waterfront Playhouse will wrap up their 2022 season with Rock of Ages and Escape to Margaritaville. Make sure to book your tickets in advance as they often sell out.

Looking for More?

Fans of the arts will find the Florida Keys a great destination to enjoy a professional play, contemporary dance show, community theater and so much more. To learn more about the art and culture scene of the Florida Keys you can’t do better than a Key West Walking Tour as a jumping in point. While you can learn a lot about the art in the Florida Keys online, there is no substitute for meeting the locals and experiencing paradise in person.