In the days of multiplex cinema chains, it is refreshing to see cities where independent movie houses still hold their ground and thrive. One such city is São Paulo, where movie buffs looking for alternatives to Hollywood blockbusters have several excellent independent cinemas to choose from. Here is our guide to the best independent movie theaters in the city.
The Reserva Cultural is one of the most popular cinemas in São Paulo showing independent films and foreign productions outside the Hollywood circuit. The movie theater, located in the middle of São Paulo’s most famous avenue, Avenida Paulista, has four theaters equipped to accept both old 35mm film and digital equivalents. The cinema’s atmosphere is charming and offers guests the option to buy art or film-related books before or after the showing. The small restaurant next to the cinema’s waiting room serves coffee and pastries.
With the objective of having a place to showcase productions that seldom find their way onto the regular film circuit, or that have spent very little time in movie theaters, the Centro Cultural de São Paulo holds movie sessions at reduced prices. The aim of this venue is to give space to films which have been underestimated or overlooked by film critics. The playhouse sometimes shows several movies from a single director or actor.