Reports of the historic Santiago cinema’s demise were greatly exaggerated.
The Cinemex Rex facing the neighborhood park did indeed close its doors after more than 70 years. Tributes flooded local media.
But now a rescuer enters, stage right, in the name of Uruguay-based Cinestar Corporation, which has been expanding into Mexico. The Rex, which will be renamed, is scheduled to open in two weeks after initial renovations.
It follows news that another shuttered movie theater, the mid-century Teatro Fantasio, reopened its doors in mid-May at Hidalgo Park.
An announcement from Cinestar praised Rex as a “national icon.” The company reportedly plans to be a low-cost option for movie-goers, but we don’t know if the movies will be first-run.
After an initial reopening, the company plans to divide screening rooms from two to four, each with a capacity for 90 people. A game room with bowling and a flight simulator will also be added. The art deco facade will be preserved.
Cine Rex was first inaugurated in 1949 with a single screen, becoming a twin theater in 1998. In 2008 it changed to MM Cinemas Rex, and then became a Cinemex in 2011.