Cine Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt Avenue,
San Juan 00918

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Showing 22 comments

Gaby85 on April 16, 2015 at 5:13 pm

The Roosevelt now shows first run movies. But I recall back in the 90’s the Roosevelt theater was the place to watch old movies.

rooseveltdoc on October 28, 2012 at 1:24 pm

I am doing a documentary about Cine Roosevelt. If you have any memorabilia or information about Teatros Cobian, the original owners of the cinema, please contact me at

AGRoura on June 13, 2010 at 6:06 pm

In pic of Sep. 7 above the theater looks different because of the marquee. I guess the new marquee was added when the theater was twinned. Glad is still operating.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on September 7, 2009 at 6:18 pm

The Cine Roosevelt photographed in August 2009;
View link

1959PuertoRico on March 14, 2008 at 1:56 pm

Slight mistake – it’s Quonset hut.

1959PuertoRico on March 14, 2008 at 1:53 pm

Actually, Cine Roosevelt now boasts two screens – it was renovated a few years ago. Its shape is not that of a hangar but of a Quoset hut, which belies a possible birth of the structure as a military one, back in the 1940s. Many Quoset huts, their military use long gone, survive to this day in Puerto Rico (one of them employed as a Roman Catholic temple), but Cine Roosevelt is the only example I know of a Quoset hut used as a movie house.

laicram on May 18, 2005 at 1:13 pm

Andy its me…Marcial…you are the man when to movies in Puerto Rico we are talking!

foxmetro on May 12, 2005 at 11:36 am

Hi Ana:

I was in the film business in Puerto Rico from 1965
to 1981 and never heard of Mr. Sola Rmirez.

Ana, could you elaberate


AndresRoura on May 12, 2005 at 10:49 am

Hi, Stephen. I don’t know, I never heard of him until know. When we were in the business the independent distributors were Marti, who also owned a theater in Puerto Nuevo; World Films (Pedro Lopez); Pepito, who handled Rank Films (I forgot his last name); and later you of course. Note to LOS: Thaks for your comment. Do we know each other? Andres.

foxmetro on May 12, 2005 at 10:31 am


Was Mr.Sola Ramirez a movie distributor – I never heard his
name – who booked the theatre from 1975 – 1980.


laicram on May 12, 2005 at 10:19 am

Thats right. If someone knows about movie and movie bussiness in Puerto Rico is Andy Roura! He is the MAN!

AndresRoura on March 15, 2005 at 2:43 pm

Thanks, Stephen. My e-mail:
Best, Andy.

foxmetro on March 15, 2005 at 2:32 pm

If anybody knows movies in Puerto Rico it's
Andy Roura — I know, I worked with him when
he was with Commenwealth Threatres and Wometco
and I worked for 2oth Century-Fox.

Stephen Sloane

AndresRoura on March 9, 2005 at 9:57 am

I’m sorrry Ana, but Mr. Sola Ramirez is wrong. If he is in the film exhibition business he should know better, as should the Caribbean Business reporter. I repeat: the film market in PR was dominated by Hollywwod fare from day one. Even now, with venues such as the Fine Arts, the market is still dominated by US films. Andres.

aalfaro on March 8, 2005 at 5:29 pm

Cine Roosevelt throughout its 50-plus years has been a family movie theater.

aalfaro on March 8, 2005 at 5:22 pm

The statement in the Caribbean Business article regarding Puerto Rican youth discovering U.S. mainland movies after the advent of TV in the 50s was provided by Mario Solá Ramírez himself.

AndresRoura on March 7, 2005 at 1:24 pm

The Caribbean Business article by Aura N. Alfaro (above) is wrong when it states that Puerto Rican youth discovered US mainland movies after the advent of TV in the 50s. Hollywood films have been a staple of Puerto Rican moviegoing from day one. Andres Roura.

aalfaro on September 27, 2004 at 4:02 pm

Cine Roosevelt information:
Location: Roosevelt Urbanization, corner of Ricardo Skerret and Juan A. Davila streets, Hato Rey, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Style: Military airplane hangar
Function: Family movies
Seats: duplex, total 485
Chain: independent
Firm: Teatros Sola Inc.

aalfaro on September 21, 2004 at 5:40 pm

From story in CARIBBEAN BUSINESS, Sept. 16, 2004
page 60

Roosevelt Theater — its actual name Cine Roosevelt — was always meant for movies

The Sola family, owner of the over five-decade-old Cine Roosevelt, has never known who designed and built the movie theater, nor why it has the shape of an airplane hangar. They do know that it was always had the same name, was sold several times, and was always meant to be a movie theater.

In fact that was a condition for the Puerto Rico Reconstruction Administration’s of “lot No. 3 on 10th Street in the Eleanor Roosevelt Urbanization blueprint” — where Cine Roosevelt stands today. Its first owners were José J. Salgado and Gerardo Baldrich Gomez, who purchased the lot for $12,350.

The hand-written Puerto Rico Property Registry certificate, held by attorney and Teatros Sola Inc. family and business member Cecile Sola Placa, dated Sept. 4, 1945 and written in Spanish, indicates that the lot “cannot be used for housing, cantinas (“cafetines”), bars, gambling houses, dance halls, cabarets or any other purpose that may constitute a public disturbance or be morally offensive.”

It adds that “The buyer will proceed to build a structure that is appropriate for use as a theater, soda fountain, and any other service related to a theater and movies. It will be for theater (movie) purposes.”

Cine Roosevelt has stood for and continues to stand for, wholesome family values and entertainment, Sola Placa said.

aalfaro on September 21, 2004 at 4:48 pm

Article in CARIBBEAN BUSINESS, September 2, 2004
Vol.32 No.37 Page: 51
Also in

Reopened Cine Roosevelt’s longevity attributed to its wholesome family atmosphere

Still the only independent movie theater in the San Juan metro area


Teatros Sola Inc., the family-owned parent company of Cine Roosevelt, could have torn down the hangar-shaped Hato Rey landmark to build an office building or any other business in its place, but there is something about the old-time movie theater that wouldn’t let that happen.

For more than 55 years, this neighborhood movie theaterâ€"located in the heart of Roosevelt Urbanizationâ€"has been a gathering place for families from all over the island. Teatros Sola, its owner and operator since the mid-1970s, recently reopened it after its remodeling and conversion into two smaller theaters, with seating for 318 and 167, respectively. Ticket and audio-visual equipment were upgraded, and it now shows first-run movies.

Cecile Sola Placa, a family and business member, said the company has had several opportunities to sell or develop another business on the site of the Cine Roosevelt. “[A different business] would be more lucrative and require less effort, but we [the family] believe that our movie theater truly provides a service to the community,” said Sola Placa.

“For decades, Cine Roosevelt has provided wholesome entertainment at affordable prices to families of all sizes and from all socio-economic levels who come from many parts of the island, and that’s what has kept the family from tearing it down,” said Sola Placa, who is also an attorney.

Sola Placa said the family really became aware that the movie theater was an icon for the community only after it reopened a few months ago. “We knew they appreciated Cine Roosevelt, but all the media attention and the outpouring of affection has persuaded us to continue working for the public,” she said, adding that patrons have been very receptive to Cine Roosevelt’s new multitheater concept.

Sola Placa said the movie theater still stands thanks to her father Mario Sola Ramirez, who, after he retired, leased Cine Roosevelt from the then owner Rafael Ramos Cobian in 1976.

“Movies had always been a part of my father’s life, so it didn’t surprise the family when he took over Cine Roosevelt, and he was set on developing a new market for youngsters and families,” Sola Placa said. Three years later, in 1979, he established Teatros Sola and purchased Cine Roosevelt.

Sola Ramirez had been distributing movies locally for 30 years, since the 1940s when promoting the latest films was done the old-fashioned way. He would go door-to-door to every independently owned and operated movie theater on the island. This was when most movies shown in Puerto Rico were from Latin America, Mexico, and Argentina. That changed with the advent of television in the 1950s and local youth discovered movies from on the U.S. mainland.

Sola Ramirez was very particular about the movies he showed at Cine Roosevelt, the acceptance rule being zero violence. That, and the fact that his very proper and elegantly dressed wife Rosa Placa de Sola, who would accompany him every evening at the entrance to cordially welcome moviegoers, left little doubt in customers’ minds that it was a wholesome affair. The scene was repeated seven days a week for 25 years.

“My mother was a fixture who helped set the family atmosphere that several generations of Cine Roosevelt patrons still recall with nostalgia,” said Sola Placa.
“We have an incredibly loyal following of residents of all ages from Roosevelt and Baldrich urbanizations, as well as families from Rio Piedras and as far away as Naranjito, Rio Grande, and Canovanas, who come on Sundays. They even explain to us why they didn’t come when they do return, and ask about my parents; it’s a very special relationship.”

In the 1980s, Sola Ramirez was joined in the evenings by his son-in-law Milton Garland, a purchasing manager for Syntex FP by day. Sister-in-law Genoveva Placa and his two grandsons came aboard in the 1990s, giving the business a solid family character, she added.
The family had closed the theaterâ€"which originally had 567 seatsâ€"only once during its 25-year stint, when, in 1998, it was refurbished. Complete with a new ticket machine and modern sound system, it opened a few months later.

Old age eventually forced Sola Ramirez to pass the baton to Garland, also treasurer of Teatros Sola. Garland became full-time administrator of Cine Roosevelt in February 2001. The family continues to select the movies, sometimes showing very good films that aren’t exhibited anywhere else, Sola Placa said.

The 1970s neon sign lights up every night at 8:30 p.m. on the corner of Ricardo Skerret and Juan A. Davila streets, and there are three showings on Sundays.

laicram on May 4, 2004 at 11:59 pm

thats right! the only true independent besides the Guayama Theater and AutoCine Santana. Im looking foward to go this weekend. JoseM were can i contact you waht to talk about theaters in pr.

josem on May 3, 2004 at 9:13 am

Great news!!! The last of the independent theaters in Puerto Rico has been renovated. It is a now a duplex showing first run films!!!!!