Thursday, 5 July 2012

Cinema São Jorge

Designed by Fernando Silva and built in 1950, Cinema São Jorge has to be one of the coolest cinemas in Lisbon. Rather than show standard releases or follow the kind of programming we're used to both in multiplexes and art house cinemas, São Jorge plays host to a year-round wide-ranging schedule of boutique film and culture festivals, such as the recent first edition of SAL - Surf At Lisbon Film Fest. So far, I've been in São Jorge for a screening of 'Surfing & Sharks' as part of SAL, a music festival showcasing new Portuguese acts and more than one tasty pizza in the upstairs cafe whose balcony overlooks Avenida da Liberdade.

Above all, each visit has provided a great opportunity to have a gawk around the inside of such a stunning building, and the interior doesn't disappoint. Great lobby spaces, impressive 1950s chandeliers and lots of wood panelling and other detailing on the walls and ceilings make São Jorge a rich and elegant space. Designed during the golden age of cinema, Silva's intention was to make a grand space with one large screening room. The screening room has since been split in three but the grandeur of the building has not suffered in the slightest. If you find yourself in Lisbon in need of some entertainment, pizza, cake (their brownies are proper amazing) or  a beer, São Jorge should definitely be on your itinerary.