Teatro Roble

Reforma 133,
Mexico City

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Additional Info

Architects: Drew Eberson, John Adolph Emil Eberson, Victor M. Loizaga

Styles: Streamline Moderne

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Teatro Roble circa 1962 (found on Tumblr)

This huge movie house opened on 3rd May 1950. The Ebersons worked with local architect Victor L. Loizaga on this building. By 1971 the seating capcity had been reduced to 3,785.

It closed in 1979 and stood empty until 1994 when it was demolished.

Contributed by KenRoe

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

juancarlos3 on December 4, 2004 at 8:27 pm

Teatro Roble era un teatro magnífico que deseo solamente que sigue siendo abierto hoy. Expreso mis gracias a las huevas de Ken Roe agregar este tesoro verdadero aquí.

01081956 on May 26, 2005 at 6:07 pm

The big Teatro Roble was constructed behind a tall (by México standards) office building, known by the same name. This building was moderne in styling, whereas the cinema interior was rendered in neo-classical style, chock-full of balustrades and columns and chandeliers. There were hughe plaster statues of Mars, the war god, and Diana, the huntress, to each side of the auditorium. The decoration was painted light grey and white, with burgundy stalls and curtain. There were three levels, that is, two balconies in the spacious interior.
The Roble was home to the “Muestra Internacional de Cine”, year to year, until the 1979 earthquake damaged it badly. It stood abandoned for some five years, and was finally demolished.
Incidentally the “Muestra” moved then to the Internacional Cinema, also a very big one-level theatre, seating more than 4000 patrons.
Then, the devastating 1985 earthquake also destroyed the Internacional, so the Muestra moved once more.

01081956 on August 8, 2005 at 5:33 pm

I doubt if I’m the only one person in Mexico actually posting in Cinema Treasures; it seems that nobody else is writing. In any case, seems to me that either nobody reads in english, or nobody knows how to write, so the theater fans in México (they should exist, aren’t they?) are out of this excellent site. That’s a pity, anyway.
Regarding Teatro Roble, I remember seeing such jewels as Fellini’s “Amarcord”, Polansky’s “The Tenant”, Visconti’s “Ludwig”, and many more great movies in the “Muestra”. There were one hour queues prior to entering, sometimes in the rain.
The very recent tragedy of the Beekman closure, in NY, reminds me of the ever present threat to old movie houses still extant, the few they are. In México one of the recurrent reasons to close movie theaters are the earthquakes. In 1985 alone (the worst earthquake in years), there was enough damage done to these buildings so as to have the real need to demolish: Eden, Alameda, Trans Lux Prado, Regis, Internacional, Morelia. The Regis actually fell down and caught fire. The Roble was damaged in an earlier earthquake: the actual damage was that both the theatre and the office building collided together (although they were side by side, they were constructed as different buildings).

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 9, 2005 at 1:13 am

Luis; Many thanks for your input and up-date on the status of the Teatro Roble and other cinemas. I added this theatre and a few others in Mexico mainly because they were designed by noted American architects such as the Eberson’s and S. Charles Lee.

I have several books on cinemas/theatres in Mexico, but unfortunately (for me) they are written in Spanish, a language I have little knowledge of. I could add further theatres with the main details and maybe you could fill in some details for us? Or maybe you could add some? It’s always interesting to learn more about theatres in other countries and I hope we can enlarge the database for South America further.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 9, 2005 at 1:55 am

The opening film at the Teatro Roble on 3rd May 1950 was Cantinflas starring in “Puerta Joven”.

01081956 on August 9, 2005 at 4:20 pm

Ken; it’s my pleasure. My english is so-so at best, but I’ll try hard to post comments as clear and readable as is possible. Besides, I have some photos, only I don’t know how to post them. I’m currently living in Guadalajara, Jalisco (out of Mexico City for now), and here there are some great movie theaters too, unfortunately all of them closed. I’ll keep posting.

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