Paulistanos adore a cineminha. In fact, during weekends and holidays, lineups are enormous and prime time screenings are often sold out. Aside from shopping multiplexes, the majority of São Paulo’s biggest and best theaters are conveniently concentrated on or around Avenida Paulista.
Outfitted with a small bookstore and a cool café/restaurant that looks onto Avenida Paulista, the Reserva Cultural (Av. Paulista 900, Cerqueira César, tel. 11/3287-3529, www.reservacultural.com.br) shows high-minded commercial films on four large screens.
Devoted cinephiles consistently flock to the Espaço Unibanco (Rua Augusta 1470/1475, Consolação, tel. 11/3288-6780), a complex of five theaters that screen first-run Brazilian, international, and art films and host film festivals. The café is habitually stuffed with celluloid junkies downing expresso.
Nearby on the third floor of Shopping Frei Caneca, the Unibanco Arteplex (Rua Frei Caneca 569, Consolação, tel. 11/3472-2365, www.unibancoarteplex.com.br) adds prestigious Hollywood pictures to its roster of indie and international films.
CineSesc (Rua Augusta 2075, tel. 11/3082-0213, Jardim Paulista, www.sescsp.org.br) functions as a cinematheque with an enormous screen and low ticket prices that organizes retrospectives and screens repertory films. A bar at the back of the theater allows you to sip cocktails while watching movies.
© Michael Sommers from Moon Brazil, 2nd Edition