Cine Grand

Calle Loiza,
San Juan

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Built in the 1940’s, this was a typical neighborhood theater. It mostly ran second run fare.

During the 1960’s, it would show double features. From Thursdays through Sundays, it would show mainstream Hollywood films. On Mondays, it would show mostly B-movies and on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, it featured an interesting combination of old and newer movies. During that time the price of admission was $1.00 for adults and only 50 cents for kids.

Also on Saturday mornings, they would have kiddie shows, most of them featuring Jerry Lewis movies.

In the 1970’s, video rentals killed most second-run movie houses and in 1980 the Grand closed down. One of the last double features shown was a "Dawn of the Dead"– "Dressed to Kill" double bill.

That same year, the Grand was torn down to make way for a drive-thru bank.

Contributed by Jose Mendez

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

segurola
segurola on January 29, 2010 at 7:40 pm

El Grand did have its charm. There was always the uninteligible marquis displaying missing, reversed or simply misspelled film titles, but even those may have remained unchanged as new schedules played. The absent or reversed marquis letters were in fact quite in fashion in many a double feature house. Still today.

But in the 60’s the Grand also had this distinct lanky, sharp, spotty black/white vitilgo ticket taker who was the incarnation of the broad film spectrum features reeled from this theater. They played shorts, Movietone and Lufthansa news as well as European movies with English subtitles. As in all moviehouses then, thick smoke betrayed the otherwise transparent film projector. Everybody smoked in their unwieldy seats, regardless of the signs and the glass shaded hall at the back of the room. The lanky ticket taker doubled as usher who was never called to assist seating arrangements for anybody. The flashlit walk every half hour gave ample time for a quick cigarette duck. Many seats wouldn’t yeald and it screamed for cleaning, but it was there. it was cheap and a kids mind is not the most demanding when some freaky japanese creature fills all eyes as it suddenly jumped out up close just when you knew was his duty. Until Psycho ((Paramount Theater?), the post-climatic woman screech had little effect. But shit, Psycho gave it all a whole new depth.

An outside mosaic tiled corner sign at the Grand identified “Teatros Llamas” as the original owners. That’s worth a comment.

AGRoura
AGRoura on February 17, 2010 at 5:38 am

I don’t remember if it was a Llamas theater at one time, I knew it as a Cobian theater, part of Commonwealth Theaters. Originally named the San Jose, Commonwealth renovated it and renamed it the Grand.

joseangel
joseangel on February 4, 2013 at 1:34 pm

I saw so many movies at the Grand. During summer vacations as a kid I remember seeing “Samson and Delilah”, “The Longest Day”, “The Wild Bunch” and a double feature of “Yellow Submarine” and “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” that remains one of my great, magical afternoons at the movies.

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