In Alvalade, a film club keeps alive the memory of neighborhood theaters
In Alvalade, nine friends united their love for the Bairro with their taste for cinema and gave life to a project that mobilizes the neighborhood's neighbors. They founded the Alvalade Cineclube in a new house, occupying the Fernando Lopes room at the Lusófona University in Campo Grande. The name pays homage to one of the great directors of Portuguese cinema.
The change of address brought improvements in acoustics and comfort, with an increase in capacity from 80 to 160 seats - and brought with it the memory of one of the great "cathedrals" of the seventh art in Lisbon, the cine Monumental: the seats and projector came from room 2 of this mythical cinema.
The atmosphere of the film club as a meeting place for neighbors also extends to foreigners, even if they do not have a complete command of the Portuguese language. As many films are not shown on the commercial circuit in Portugal, they sometimes arrive with subtitles in other languages, such as English or French.
Conceived by "eighteen hands", the film club is not in Alvalade by chance. All nine members lived in the neighborhood at some point in their lives - four of them still do - and have fond memories of the parish, as well as memories of movie afternoons in one of the many theaters that stretched along the Avenida de Roma.
Among the the theaters, the old Cine Alvalade, where today operates the Cinema City, one of the few remnants of Lisbon's street cinemas. Opened in the 1950s, the old Cine Alvalade had a capacity for 1,485 spectators and operated until the mid-1980s.
By Álvaro Filho