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More than a dozen movie houses in San José show American and other foreign movies. (Movies with Spanish soundtracks are advertised as hablado en español.) La Nación and the Tico Times list current movies. Most movie houses charge $2–6.
Sala Garbo (Calle 28 and Avenida 2, tel. 506/2222-1034) shows avant-garde international movies. Other venues include Cine Magaly (Calle 23, Avenidas Central/1, tel. 506/2223-0085); Cine Omni (Calle 3, Avenidas Central/1 tel. 506/2221-7903); and the eight-cinema Cineopolis (tel. 506/2278-3631), in TerraMall, off the Cartago highway east of town.
Live Music and Dance
Big-time artists occasionally hit Costa Rica and typically perform at the Teatro Nacional (tickets tel. 506/2221-5341, www.teatronacional.go.cr), Teatro Melico Salazar (tel. 506/2222-5424, www.teatromelico.go.cr), or Auditorio Nacional (tel. 506/2222-7647), in the Museo de los Niños. Look for advertisements in the local newspapers.
Pueblo Antiguo (tel. 506/2242-9200, www.puebloantiguo.co.cr) hosts folkloric exhibitions; the program varies monthly.
The Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional (tel. 506/2240-0333, www.osn.go.cr) performs at the Teatro Nacional (tickets tel. 506/2221-5341, www.teatronacional.go.cr), with a variable schedule February–December. The orchestra posts an annual calendar on its website.
The Centro Cultural Costarricense-Norteamericano (Costa Rican–North American Cultural Center) hosts concerts in its Eugene O’Neill Theater (tel. 506/2207-7554). The National Lyric Opera Company (tel. 506/2240-3333, ext. 305, www.mcjdcr.go.cr) presents operas in the Teatro Melico Salazar.
Merecumbé (tel. 506/2291-6070, www.merecumbe.net) offers dance classes that include salsa and merengue. It has schools throughout San José and the highlands. Prodanza (tel. 506/2290-7969, http://katabamibudokan.tripod.com/prodanza) offers classes spanning ballet to flamenco.
The nascent jazz scene is fairly robust. Venues include the Shakespeare Gallery (Calle 28, Avenida 2, tel. 506/2258-6787, 7 p.m.–midnight daily), but the big enchilada is the Jazz Café (Avenida Central, tel. 506/2253-8933, www.jazzcafecostarica.com, 6 p.m.–midnight daily, $5 pp cover) in a venerable redbrick building in San Pedro. It hosts big names from around the globe and has all the ambience one could hope for in a classic jazz club.
TeoréTica (Calle 7, Avenidas 9/11, tel./fax 506/2233-8775, www.teoretica.org), a local artists’ foundation and gallery, hosts tertulias (get-togethers). An events calendar is listed on its website.
Theatergoing here is still light years from Broadway, but San José has a score of professional theaters (many are tiny venues), including a viable fringe; many serve up burlesque. Tickets rarely cost more than $2. Performances normally run Thursday–Sunday and begin at 7:30 or 8 p.m. Most performances are in Spanish. La Nación and the Tico Times list current productions.
The Little Theatre Group (tel. 506/8858-1446, www.littletheatregroup.org) presents English-language musicals and comedies throughout the year at the Teatro Laurence Olivier (Avenida 2, Calle 28).
© Christopher P. Baker from Moon Costa Rica, 8th Edition