Cinearte 3

Ponce De Leon Avenue,
San Juan

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These small theaters were the first in Puerto Rico to specialize in art films. The people who started this theater originally showed films in the Bar Association auditorium on Saturdays and Sundays. This experiment was sucessful and they built Cinearte in the Hato Rey section of San Juan.

The theater was owned by film critic Juan Gerard and it was a true family operation (his parents would sell tickets and sell popcorn)

The fare who played here was a mixed one. They would show films like “Local Hero”, “Diva” and “Tin Drum”, but when they wanted to make money they would turn to soft core ‘art’ such as sexy Sonia Braga movies. Her movies could play there for months.

During the “Last Temptation” controversy, Cinearte was the only place which showed the movie after chains such as Caribbean Cinemas bowed to religious groups' pressure.

Going to Cinearte was quite an experience. The theaters were small. If someone stood up during the screening, they would block the screen. And the speakers were small and the sound puny. But one must thank Cinearte for finally creating a place to see challenging, serious films.

Cinearte closed down in the early 1990’s and Fine Arts in Miramar took its place in bringing indy and foreign films to Puerto Rico.

Contributed by Jose Mendez

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

cineast
cineast on May 12, 2008 at 3:38 am

So many memories of the 1980’s at Cinearte. it was on a second floor of a commercial building, with stores and fast food restaurants around it. After they demolished it, the area is so unrecognaizable with new buildings, that it’s hard to pin point its exact location. Before Cinearte, the Excelsior was the only one with a similar fare. But Cinearte expanded the repertoir and exposed us to great world cinema. Among the many, many movies that played here were “Women on The Verge of a Nervous Breakdown”, “Fellini’s Orchestra Rehearsal,” “Diva,” “Dark Habits,” “Blood Wedding,” “Dios Los Cria,” “That’s Dancing,” “1984,” “Madame Rosa,” “Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears,” “Matador,” “Law of Desire,” “The Night of the Pencils,” “Bye, Bye, Brazil,” “The Official Story,” “Improper Conduct,” “Hail Mary,” “Nobody Listened,"The Last Temptation of Christ,” “Doña Herlinda and Her Son,” “The Tin Drum,” “The Tree of Wooden Clogs,” “Fitzcarraldo,” “Nosferatu,” “What Have I Done To Deserve This?,” “New York Stories,” etc, etc. Others will keep coming to mind.

AGRoura
AGRoura on June 13, 2010 at 11:22 pm

The above pic, Dec. 31, is not the Cinearte. It is the Fine Arts in Miramar.

davsot
davsot on June 13, 2010 at 11:27 pm

Was Cinearte Demolished or closed?

davsot
davsot on June 13, 2010 at 11:28 pm

The description sounds a lot like the Fine Arts… But I really don’t know anything.

AGRoura
AGRoura on June 13, 2010 at 11:45 pm

Sorry Davsot, but I already had moved to NYC when Cinearte opened. I never knew it existed until I saw it listed here. I don’t know anything either.

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