Sao Jorge Cinema
Avenida da Liberdade 175,
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Architects: Fernando Silva
Styles: Streamline Moderne
The Sao Jorge (St. George) Cinema was built between 1947 and 1950, opening on 24th February 1950 with the British made film “The Red Shoes” starring Moira Shearer. The cinema was a project by the British film company The Rank Organisation, built to showcase their films. It was to be called the Odeon, but this name was already taken by another cinema in Lisbon.
The architect was Fernando Silva who designed a lavish Art Deco style cinema seating 1,827 on orchestra and balcony levels, which at the time was the largest cinema on the Iberian peninsula. It was equipped with Lisbon’s only cinema organ; a Compton ‘Theatrone’ electronic organ (the 3 Manual console came from the bomb damaged Regal Cinema, Bexleyheath, England) and was opened by noted British organist Gerald Shaw.
The Sao Jorge Cinema was ‘tripled’ in 1982 with 845 seats in the former balcony and two 250 seat cinemas in the orchestra level. The organ was removed at this time. A couple of years later the Rank Organisation sold the cinema to C.I.C. and they continued to operate it for many years.
Eventually it was closed and after negotiations it was taken over by the City of Lisbon Council who renovated and re-opened it in 2007.
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