Candlelight Theater

Avenida Ponce De Leon,
San Juan

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Built in the 1940’s by Ciruito Teatral Llamas, a local chain of movie theaters. It was a prestigious theater showing first run films.

During the 1960’s and early 1970’s it was the place that exclusively showed all of Columbia Pictures' movies. From "Lawrence of Arabia" to "Oliver!" to "Casino Royale", if you wanted to see a Columbia release on its first run, you had to go to the New Broadway.

In the early-1980’s, it stopped being a showcase for Columbia Pictures and the quality of movies varied a lot. New World Pictures fare such as "Big Bad Mama" started to be commonly shown.

In the mid-1980’s The New Broadway stopped showing movies and it became the Candlelight Theater, showing plays and night club acts. It was pretty succesful, but the building was torn down to build the Centro Europa. When it was being torn down, a gas line erupted and a fire ocurred during the razing process. It was a very sad sight and a truly unfitting ending to the history of one of San Juan’s best movie theaters.

Contributed by Jose Mendez

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

cineast on December 29, 2006 at 9:00 pm

The New Broadway was one of the main movie theatres in the Ponce de Leon Avenue movie strip. It was a block away from the Puerto Rico and played new releases from commercial hits to not so commercial films. It had its name in a dramatic electric sign in handwritten style with twinkling lights that ran in an acute angle infront of the theatre. Some movies that played here during the 70’s were “Tommy,” “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden,” the exploitation flick “Let Me Die a Woman,” “Diamonds,” “Logan’s Run,” “The Stepford Wives,” “Next Stop, Greenwich Village,” and “The Fortune,” just to name a few. It briefly became a legit theatre during the early 80’s as the Cndlelight Theatre, only to be demolished shortly afterwards to construct the highway tunnel that runs under where the New Broadway originally stood. Hopefully photos of this theatre will surface in the future as evidence and legacy of one of the prime movie theatres of the Ponce de Leon Avenue movie haydays.

AGRoura on June 13, 2010 at 1:54 pm

In the 50s it played Spanish pictures. When Cobian leased the Circuito Llamas, it was remodeled and New was added to Broadway. The Llamas family took over his circuit in the early 60s. Columbia Pictures leased it in the mid or late 60s. Lawrence must have been a reissue as it premiered at the Metropolitan.

bohique on July 26, 2015 at 1:44 pm

It wasn’t destroyed because of the highway tunnel, but it was located very close to it. It operated for some years after that tunnel’s began operation (mostly as the Candlelight Theatre). The construction of Centro Europa was the reason for it’s demolition.

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