The Cinema Rex across from the Santiago market will be drawing its curtains for the last time this month.
Though Cinemex, the theater’s operator, has not announced the exact date, folks on social media are already fretting about the end of an era for Mérida’s Centro. It is heavily rumored that the close date will come by the end of the month.
“Before all the growth in the north, almost all the movie theaters used to be downtown. There was the Fantasio, the Cantarei, Cinema 59, and several others, and now there will be nothing,” a resigned Centro resident, Mario Ceballos, said on Facebook.
Acquired by Cinemex in the late 1990s, the historic Cinema Rex first opened its doors in 1949.
The movie theater was one of the largest in town, complete with huge ceiling fans and an art deco facade.
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As shopping malls began to grow in popularity, so did megaplex cinemas with multiple screening rooms. The allure of watching movies in these much more modern cinemas, with the added benefit of plentiful mall parking and convenient shopping, soon started to impact Centro’s movie theaters.
Aside from poor parking, one of the factors likely working against Cinema Rex in recent years was the fact that they almost always showed dubbed films instead of offering subtitled options for non-Spanish language films.
According to their website, the company has approximately 14,000 employees and projects films on 2,400 screens in every Mexican state except Tlaxcala.
The company also began an expansion into the United States in 2013 with the acquisitions of 14 cinema complexes.