For many years, Gothamites have enjoyed the ability to see films from around the world at theatres which specialized in regional cinema. Sadly, all of Chinatown’s screens shut down by the late 1990s, and the Bollywood films regularly seen near Times Square might soon lose their home if the Loews State Theatre, in the basement of the Virgin Megastore, shutters as long rumored. Combating this trend, Clearview Cinemas has just announced they are re-dedicating their Columbus Circle theatre, the 62nd and Broadway, as Cinema Latino — the only all Latino movie house in Manhattan.
The single-screen, 300-seat theatre, close to Loews’ massive Lincoln Square location and the popular indie house Lincoln Plaza, plans on programming first run features from 20 Spanish and Portuguese speaking nations. “Opening Cinema Latino as the first and only exclusive Latin film house in Manhattan clearly places Clearview Cinemas at the forefront in bringing these exceptional films to audiences here in Manhattan,” Morten Gotterup, senior vice president and general manager of Clearview Cinemas, said. “In addition to appealing to the significant Latino community in the New York area — that is over 2 million strong in Manhattan alone — we believe this format will resonate with film lovers of all backgrounds looking for important new films by talented film makers that depict the diverse cultures, lives and stories from around the world.”
Working with Armando Guareno, founder and executive director of La CinemaFe Film Festival, Clearview plans on picking titles up directly from distributors around the world which have yet to receive distribution within the United States. “LaCinemaFe’s mission is to promote a wider and deeper understanding of the roots, lives and diverse cultures of the Spanish and Portuguese speaking communities in Latin America, the United States, Spain and Portugal through our annual film festival and projects including our work with Clearview on Cinema Latino,” Guareno commented. “By creating a space in Manhattan to showcase these films we hope to strengthen the cultural and economic ties among these countries.”
The first feature scheduled at the new Cinema Latino is the 2001 Spanish/Portuguese film “Vidas Privadas,” which features Gael Garcia Bernal and Cecilia Roth.