According to “A Folha”, the old venue known as Rádio-Cine, that stands where the streets Rua Capitão Pires da Cruz and Rua do Espírito Santo meet up with the square known as Largo Joaquim Pedro de Matos, which is presently closed, shall reopen soon. After being restored, it shall once again take up the activity for which it was created around 65 years ago.
Many of the inhabitants of Montemor who are now over 50 still remember fondly all the movies they watched there. It was the only movie theater in town at the time. Plays and variety shows were also staged there drawing an enthusiastic public.
Rádio-Cine was created to function mainly as a cinema, but it was also used as a theatre, having welcomed on its stage famous names such as Vasco Santana, António Silva, Mirita Casimiro, Carmen Dolores and Igrejas Caeiro.
In a brief history of that venue, the same newspaper tells us that Rádio-Cine succeeded a venue known as “Cinematógrafo Talma” where silent movies were projected. For the venue Rádio-Cine to open to the public, some adaptation work was performed, in an old church that belonged to the hospital known as Hospital do Espírito Santo e de Santo André.
Rádio-Cine was planned by architect Luis Cristino da Silva and built by a civil constructor named António Carvalho da Silva, whereas the electro-technician who proceeded to install the “Bauer” sound system was Freed Hamm. The entrepreneurs were Mr. Jaime Ernesto dos Reis and Mr. Joaquim Brás Ribeiro Belga.
Regarding that opening, the newspaper “O Montemorense” dated April 1935 reported: “The opening of a new movie theater was a sensational happening in the quiet milieu of Montemor, a venue which the company Jaime Reis & Ribeiro Lda. presented to the town. With a completely full house, the first show took place on Sunday the 27th of October at Rádio‑Cine which opened its doors on that day. The impressions received by the public were the best and to the credit of the company. The unanimous opinion was that the new show house had all requirements of a modern movie theater.
In all the shows, the satisfaction of the spectators was visible. They were proud to see such an improvement happen in their hometown thanks to two men of good will, who spared no effort and sacrifice to endow Montemor with a show house that would honour the town. Meanwhile, and already with the Cine-Teatro Curvo Semedo in full activity, the venue Rádio-Cine closed down to the public in 1966, making way for a grocer’s warehouse that ceased its commercial activity last December.
It is worth noting that between 1960 and 1965 there were two cinemas in Montemor. During these 5 years they competed with each other and those responsible for these movie theaters brought to Montemor the best movies available at the time, vying with each other for spectators. Those who gained by this were the inhabitants of Montemor who had the opportunity of seeing movies they would not have seen if there had only been one cinema in their town.
Manuel Filipe Novo