Cine en Ballaja

Norzagaray Street,
Ballaja,
San Juan 00907

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This new theater was built inside old Spanish barracks in the historic Ballaja district of Old San Juan. It is the only theater venue in operation within the walls of the old city. The theater is run and operated by Wiesner Distributors, and it contains three screens, two of which play foreign as well as independent films and a smaller room for documentaries which instead of stadium seating has sofas and cafe style tables.

This beautiful new theater is in danger of closing because the government has not complied with all the promises they made to the theaters owner.

Contributed by Jose Otero Buenaga

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

skankypepe
skankypepe on July 10, 2005 at 2:24 pm

pictures of the outside of the Ballaja building can be found here…

View link

and more…

http://juditplace.tripod.com/0b48a270.jpg

you can also take a virtual tour of the barrack as well as it’s beautifull courtyard here…

View link

dervauerbach
dervauerbach on July 28, 2005 at 10:19 am

Cine en Ballaja will officially close July 31, 2005. A court hearing is set for August 3 to determine whether the cinema will be able to reopen, however given the disputes with the Puerto Rico Office of Historic Preservation, which has failed to meet its contractual obligations for commercial and cultural development of the Ballajá site, it is likely that Puerto Rico will lose this cinematic gem.

skankypepe
skankypepe on August 1, 2005 at 12:45 am

thanx for the info where did you find the article

josem
josem on August 12, 2005 at 7:03 am

Cine en Ballaja also had the problem that they were essentially playing the same movies as Fine Arts. And people would rather go there than go through the hassle and traffic problems of Old San Juan.

dervauerbach
dervauerbach on October 8, 2005 at 3:35 am

Cine en Ballajá is presently closed, however I have recently been informed by the owner, Cynthia Wiesner, that the theater is still undergoing negotiations with the Office of Historic Preservation, and that there is a chance it will reopen. Anyone interested in providing support to this cause should send an e-mail to
As for the brush-off on redundant programming, posted here by josem, aside from the the cinema’s unparalleled location, Ballaja was the only theater serving Old San Juan, and it ran a series of completely unique festivals that included works by Chaplin, women filmmakers, independent Puerto Rican cinema and gay cinema. There is presently nothing like this in Puerto Rico, and perhaps outside of Cuba, in the Caribbean.

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