New remit

PRESENTLY closed for refurbishment, the grand old cinema of São Jorge in Lisbon may well be taking on a new lease of life as a musical venue, in addition to performing its original function as a picture house.

“The São Jorge Cinema has a particular mystique in Lisbon, with its single movie theatre. The function of the cinema has to be maintained, but the musical angle could be a way of bringing in new audiences,” said Maria Pinto Barbosa, head of Lisbon Câmara Department of Culture. Although not specifying the type of musical events that might take place at São Jorge, Barbosa did not discount the idea that it could be the new home of the Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra.

Other options under consideration include a space for showing more experimental and alternative cinema. Presently in the charge of a municipal body (Empresa Municipal de Gestão e Animação de Equipamentos Culturais), plans are in the offing for a collaboration with the private sector. Under current proposals, the câmara will define what it hopes to achieve through São Jorge at the cultural level, but the day-to-day running of the theatre will be given over to a private company.