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» Cinematour Forum   » Cinemas in the News   » Dallas: new Latino 12-screen coming to south side

Author Topic: Dallas: new Latino 12-screen coming to south side
John Robert

Posts: 135
From: Addison, TX
Registered: Jan 2005

 - posted February 03, 2007 11:31 AM      Profile for John Robert   Email John Robert         Edit/Delete Post 
Dallas Morning News article

Latino cineplex to debut in Oak Cliff
12-screen theater plans to fill void with movies in Spanish

09:24 AM CST on Saturday, February 3, 2007

By FRANK TREJO / The Dallas Morning News

A Colorado-based chain of movie theaters that caters to the U.S. Hispanic market plans to open a 12-screen theater in Oak Cliff this year that would show first-run movies – en español.

Some Dallas residents say the theater would fill a void in entertainment options for Latinos. While the city has housed theaters that exclusively showed Spanish-language movies in the past, they closed years ago.

"I think it's fabulous that people will be able to see movies in Spanish or with subtitles that they might not ordinarily be able to see," said Alejandrina Drew, general manager of Dallas' Latino Cultural Center.

Although the center has its own series of classic Mexican movies called Cine en el Centro, shown for free on Saturdays, Ms. Drew said it is important for a Hispanic population the size of Dallas' to be able to enjoy options.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2005 American Community Survey, Dallas' Hispanic population stood at 482,024, slightly more than 42 percent of the city's overall population of 1,144,946.

Such numbers attracted the attention of Cinema Latino Theaters, which was founded in 2001 by parent company Sonora Entertainment Group. The company has theaters in Fort Worth; Pasadena, Texas; Phoenix; and Aurora, Colo.

With plans for 12 screens and a total of 2,000 stadium seats, the Dallas site – which is in a new west Oak Cliff shopping center – would be the chain's largest facility when it opens for the 2007 holiday season. The other sites have six or eight screens.

Cinema Latino theaters show first-run Hollywood and Latin American films. About 80 percent are English-language Hollywood movies that are either subtitled or dubbed in Spanish, said Christine Alducin, director of film and marketing for Cinema Latino.

The theaters also present popular Spanish-language hits that in most U.S. markets are shown mostly in art houses, like the current Oscar-nominated Volver and Pan's Labyrinth.

Fort Worth's Cinema Latino, at 4200 S. Freeway near Seminary Drive, is showing movies such as The Hitcher, Freedom Writers and Epic Movie.

"What makes us stand out even more is that we serve much more than just films," Ms. Alducin said. "The music in our lobbies is in Spanish. Our staff is bilingual and our concessions, in addition to the normal popcorn and hotdogs, have items like salsa and tamales and other food that our customers like."

The theaters also regularly conduct major promotions, often in conjunction with other local businesses.

Ms. Alducin said the Dallas site would be a departure from the company's previous strategy. Cinema Latino previously has renovated existing movie theaters to fit its needs. In Dallas, the company will build from the ground up within the Sierra Vista Center at West Illinois Avenue and Westmoreland Road, not far from the Westmoreland DART rail station.

"We opened our theater in Fort Worth in 2003 with the intention of always going into Dallas. It's one of the top Hispanic markets," Ms. Alducin said. "We were just waiting for the right location and the right opportunity. And we found it."

David Watson, a partner in Direct Development Co., which developed the Sierra Vista Center, said having a movie theater was part of his company's original vision.

"We felt there was a demand in the area, but we were uncertain if we would be able to find a tenant who would see that same potential," Mr. Watson said. "I think it's going to be wildly successful."

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Mark Richey

Posts: 90
From: Fort Worth, TX
Registered: Feb 2003

 - posted February 04, 2007 11:06 PM      Profile for Mark Richey   Author's Homepage   Email Mark Richey         Edit/Delete Post 
South Dallas has been without a theater since the mid-90s, when UA closed the South 8 and GCC shut down the two theaters at (then) Red Bird Mall. I'm sure the area's white and African-American communities are going to be thrilled that the long-awaited new theater is going to be catering exclusively to the Hispanic market.

Speaking of which, I had always heard that Spanish language theaters were unprofitable, which made sense considering that a city with such a huge Hispanic population had no Spanish-language theaters (especially since there are/were plenty of shuttered multiplexes that one could have set up shop in). If the Ft. Worth location is doing gangbuster business, however, there's no reason that the Dallas location shouldn't be equally successful.

(Post #70 for me. Good thing I'm posting this before my boyfriend saw the previous post number under my pic. Knowing him, he'd be sniggering for days).

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