San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Magaly’s back

From the print edition

After 33 years in business, Costa Rica’s largest movie theater – Cine Magaly – closed in June of last year. On Friday, June 1, it reopened with a new strategy: unique programming. 

 “The Magaly’s audience wants to see different films,” said Luis Carcheri, manager of the company Romaly, which now runs the theater. A European film festival kicking things off Friday is an example of what audiences can expect. Numerous countries in Europe, including Germany, Italy, Spain and Austria, have each selected one film for the festival, Carcheri said.

The 2011 film selected by France, “The Untouchables,” follows a rich French quadriplegic and his young Senegalese live-in caretaker through their complicated relationship. “All of the films touch on everyday themes that we relate to,” Carcheri said. “This film series does this with drama and comedy.” 

 Laura Molina, director for the Costa Rican Center for Film Production, said the reopening of Cine Magaly is positive for Costa Rican culture, especially in the audiovisual and film sectors.  “As the magic of film once again illuminates the Magaly screen, we are thrilled to know that the reorientation of the theater’s programming gives special emphasis to artistic films and Costa Rican audiovisual works.” 

Cine Magaly opened in 1978 and was the first theater in Costa Rica to have reclining seats and a digital sound system. The managers have worked to ensure that the quaint character of the theater remains. Tickets for the film festival cost  {1,800 ($3.50) for adults and  {1,000 ($2) for students. Cine Magaly is located in Barrio La California at Avenida 23 and Calle Central in central San José. Visit for more details.

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