Movie Theaters


Movie theaters

In spite of being a fairly small city and because of its thriving economy in the beginning of the 20th century, Penedo has had many movie theaters as they were a part of the population entertainment back then.

There are two main movie theaters that are a part of the memory and pride of the population of Penedo: “Cine Penedo” and “Cine São Francisco”.

“Cine IDEAL” which used the facilities of the “Teatro 7 de setembro” to its film exhibitions

Cine Penedo

The 1st “Cine Penedo”, a modernist building of 1958, operated with two German projectors, from the traditional Bauer brand, which worked together with the 10 X 5 meter screen, offering 630 chairs, all manufactured by CIMO in the state of Paraná.

Now is being restored by IPHAN and BNDES and will reopen its doors in November 2023, together with the film lab and the future school of arts and creative technologies from the Federal University of Alagoas.

Cine São Francisco - Hotel São Francisco

The 2nd and main film facility throughout Penedo’s history is the, also modernist, “Cine São Francisco” from 1959. It was the most modern movie theater in the Northeast with over 1000 seats. Three years later, in 1962, the majestic Hotel São Francisco came into full operation. At that time, a futuristic building with modern facilities was set amidst the three-hundred-year-old houses of the historic “Cidade dos Sobrados”.

The “Cine São Francisco” hosted the Brazilian Film Festival from the 1977 to 1982. The event, which brought together nationally renowned artists, actors and big names in Brazilian Popular Music (MPB), lost ground to the south of the country. With the construction of new theaters in the capital, the popularization of electronic devices and local economic crises, it closed its doors on August 3, 1993.

For eight years, the event was held at Cine São Francisco, always in the first half of January, lasting three to four days. Its closure coincides with the the Bom Jesus dos Navegantes, a traditional religious event that continues to this day and which has an extensive profane program, attracting a large number of people to the riverside city.

Only in 2016 the Brazilian Government and the Penedo city hall initiated the restauration process which included revamping the hole facility, which contemplated air-conditioning, elevators, accessibility project, appropriate dressing rooms, among many other adequate and improved resources. The Cine São Francisco became the “Comendador Zeca Peixoto Convetion Center” and was reopened in 2021. Finaly, in November 2022 The Brazilian Film Festival, The Velho Chico Environmental Film Festival, The university film festival and the Children’s film showcase returned to its original theater and auditorium. Penedo’s main film events are back at “Cine São Francisco”.

Reform and Restart

A rare jewel of modernist architecture and the site of unforgettable national film festivals, film screenings returned to Cine São Francisco with the 10th edition of Circuito Penedo de Cinema.

The opening night of the already consolidated circuit in the country put an end to practically 30 years in the dark room of Cine São Francisco without a projector illuminating the screen and the eyes of the audience.

In 2022, Circuito Penedo returned to the old Cine São Francisco, an important space that marked film festivals.

In addition to recovering and modernizing the cinema's equipment, the majestic space also became the city's Convention Center, whose management is a positive reference in the PAC Cidades Históricas, a program developed by the federal government for the restoration and preservation of national memory.

Outdoor Movie

Penedo often holds free film screenings, in addition to theater workshops. Film screenings are held in public squares that are transformed into a true open-air movie theater and in the heart of the historic center and the city’s riverside.

The projects aim to give public access to the film industry, promote culture inclusion through art and responsible use of public spaces. People with hearing disabilities are also contemplated by the subtitles that appear in the feature films; while audio description volunteers are also available for visually impaired moviegoers. Access for wheelchair users and people with mobility difficulties were designed.

The community of people with hearing disabilities is also contemplated by the subtitles that appear in the feature films; while volunteers to do audio description are also available for visually impaired people who go to the movies. Access for wheelchair users and people with mobility difficulties was designed to facilitate mobility.

It is a work for the democratization of access to the culture of the seventh art with inclusion, respect for the spectator's intelligence and the occupation of historical and natural heritage.

Film Connection – Penedo / Santos

The project derives from the cooperation of the creative city of film, Santos with the Unesco candidate, Penedo, and aims to promote cultural and cinema exchange through short films that were shot in Santos vs. short films that were produced in Penedo. The screenings take place simultaneously and live in both cities and the exhibitions are free of charge.

The April 2022 edition was held in the “Teatro 7 de setembro” theater together with a temporary outdoor structure since the 350-seat facility was completely booked and there was an additional 300 seat demand. Popcorn and cotton candy were offered to the public for free. In Santos the screenings were held at the “Teatro Rosinha Mastrângelo”.

The initiative strengthens the ties and the partnership between Penedo and Santos, promoting cooperation within the Brazilian film industry and benefiting the entire audiovisual sector in the state of Alagoas.