Teatro Paradise

Centro Rio Pierdras,
San Juan

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Teatro Paradise

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Located near the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras campus, this theater showed double features for students with tight wallets.

The Paradise was successful for many years, but the the area became a victim of urban decay and crime. Students stopped hanging around the area and went to mall multiplexes instead.

The long-closed Paradise is currently in the midst of a renovation project.

Contributed by Jose Mendez

Recent comments (view all 18 comments)

RMB on November 9, 2006 at 1:02 pm

Historical Facts on the Paradise: Inagurated on December 12, 1945 it was a Cobian Theater marketed during the Inauguration as “The best in the Antilles” and also “As good as the Paramount”. Capacity was 1200 seats and it had a Mezzannine.

Inaugural show was “Rhapsody in Blue”
Antecedents: at the begining of the Century (1912) there was a Teatro Nuevo located at the same address which featured silent movies.

Last December 2005 Rio Piedras, (in conjunction with the 60th anniversary of its inauguration); the town where it is located celebrated a “Night for the Paradise”. There were several activities at the libraries around the area, conferences on the history of Rio Piedras Theaters, presentations of the rennovation plans, the street was closed and a genuine town party happened. Music, food, artisans. The theater was opened, cleaned and illuminated. There is no roof, but in the walls we played Cinema Paradiso as a great metephor. It wwas a beautiful, almost magic cativity. People did not want to leave!

AGRoura on June 13, 2010 at 8:35 pm

It was a long narrow theater. I went a lot when I was at UPR and lived at the Darlington. Saw it in January and looks as awful as in the Jan. 19 pics. Well, they were taken a few days after I passed by the theater. What a shame!

davsot on June 13, 2010 at 10:16 pm

I was thinking it’s better if they tear it down and rebuild it from scratch. All they can preserve is the sign, no point in letting that space go to waste. They can build a really nice theater in the heart of a historic district. Let me know what you think.

AGRoura on June 14, 2010 at 12:10 am

If I remember correctly, in the 60s Rio Piedras had the Paradise (Cobian), Modelo (a Llamas theater) and Cobian’s New Victoria, the remodeled old Victoria which the interior was decorated as the newly remodeled Puerto Rico in Santurce nd played day-and-date with Santurce theaters. I don’t remember any other theaters in Rio Piedras. I don’t know what to tell you. If they destroyed the Paramount, except for the facade, then they can do the same with the Paradise. I really don’t know what to tell you. Sorry. Have a good night, Davsot.

AGRoura on June 14, 2010 at 12:13 am

PS: Love your Flicker Photostream, Davsot.

davsot on September 5, 2010 at 1:04 am

thanks, if you can, add me.

rrstar96 on September 17, 2010 at 1:51 pm

I believe that, along with the nearby New Victoria, the Paradise was a Wometco Commonwealth theater at one time. And, yes, it was great that both venues offered reduced ticket prices to students with IDs.

rooseveltdoc on October 28, 2012 at 1:26 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

Gaby85 on April 12, 2014 at 5:37 pm

I seem to recall some plans for renovation during an architecture festival the tourism company did a few years ago but nothing ever came out of it. The Main building itself it’s closed to the public, however there’s an opening nearby that people use to exhibit movies.

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