Rio is one of the Latin America’s most important film markets, and you can see everything from Hollywood blockbusters to national, European, independent, and art films. Apart from the ubiquitous multiplexes in the city’s shopping areas, Rio boasts numerous small art house cinemas, the largest concentrations of which are located in Botafogo, Ipanema, and Leblon.
One of the city’s biggest cinephile hangouts is the Unibanco Arteplex (Praia de Botafogo 35, Botafogo, tel. 21/2559-8750, www.ims.com.br). Along with six state-of-the art screens, it has a café, bistro, and great bookstore.
Nearby are the Espaço Cinema (Rua Voluntários da Pátria 35, Botafogo, tel. 21/2226-1986) and the Estação Botafogo (Rua Voluntários da Pátria 88, Botafogo, tel. 21/2226-1988), which belong to the Grupo Estação (www.estacaovirtual.com.br), a group of cinemas that show a mixture of national and international independent and art films.
Estação also has two cinemas in Ipanema: Estação Laura Alvim (Av. Vieira Souto 176, Ipanema, tel. 21/2267-4307), which has three small theaters in a cultural center overlooking the beach, and Estação Ipanema (Rua Visconde de Pirajá 605, Ipanema, tel. 21/2279-4603).
Although Rio was once home to an impressive number of glamorous movie palaces, the only survivor that still screens films is the Cine Odeon BR (Praça Mahatma Gandhi 5, Centro, tel. 21/2240-1093), a handsomely restored deco gem in Cinelândia that often hosts star-studded premiers.
For two weeks in late September/early October, Rio hosts a topnotch international film festival, the Festival do Rio (www.festivaldorio.com.br), which always features an engaging array of movies.
© Michael Sommers from Moon Brazil, 2nd Edition