By Gonzalo Sanchez
Rome, Jun 4 (EFE). – It was almost 10 years ago that a group of youngsters occupied Rome´s Cinema America to save the movie theater from being destroyed and turned into apartment blocks.
A decade later, that same group of youngsters are opening their very own cinema.
After saving Cinema America in 2012, the group of friends set up the Piccolo America association to continue their battle to save Rome’s historic cinemas.
This is how Il Cinema in Piazza (Cinemas in squares) was born, a project to revive open air cinemas and one that organizes free screenings across the Italian capital during the summer season.
With the opening of Troisi Cinema in September, the 25 boys and girls from Piccolo America hope to attract Romans back to movie theaters after the pandemic forced the city’s cinemas to close their doors to the public for months.
The new cinema is a 1930s fascist architecture style building in Rome’s Trastevere. It will have 300 seats, a bar and a study lounge that will be open throughout the day. The staff will be formed by 15 youngsters and all profits will be reinvested, as the association is a non-profit organization.
Piccolo America was able to invest 1.5 million euros in the project after winning a tender from the Ministry of Finance for its refurbishment and support from the Italian Association of Authors and Publishers as well as from the regional government.
The association has also attracted the attention of great filmmakers like Bernando Bertolucci and Ettore Scola who support their projects.
This year’s Il Cinema in Piazza kicks off on Friday, with filmmakers Ken Loach, Emir Kusturica, Carlos Reygadas and others participating to the events virtually.EFE