Inaugurated in 1947, Cinema Batalha has already had several phases. It will reopen in 2018 as Casa do Cinema. Get acquainted with its history.
In the place where the Batalha Cinema currently stands, there was up to the 1940s the HighLife, which would be demolished to make room for a more modern building. The inauguration happened on July 3, 1948, with a program dedicated to the French cinema.
The frescoes by Júlio Pomar were from that phase, depicting the Feast of Saint John, the works were immediately covered, since the mayor considered them as an expression of communist ideas. Other aspects of the decoration of the cinema were also “censored”, since Portugal was living under a dictatorial government and the painter was even arrested by the political police. The frescoes should be restored, by the time the space is reopened.
The Batalha cinema lived a golden age between the 50’s and 70’s, when Porto downtown (Baixa) had several cinemas with constant programming. Commercial films were exhibited on their screens, while the studio Sala Bebé a smaller room received a cinephile audience. In the late 1990s, the cinema lost public audience and eventually was closed. It reopened in the first decade of this century, as a show room, but eventually closed its doors again.
Source: O Tripeiro, Series 7, Year XXV Number 2