Rome's Alcazar Cinema to reopen

Alcazar will return as cultural venue for cinema and concerts in Rome.

Rome's Alcazar Cinema in Trastevere is due to reopen as a cinema and concert venue in January, one year after its closure, according to a report in Italian daily newspaper Corriere della Sera.

The venture is being undertaken by 33-year-old entrepreneur Luca Carinci, who sold his Trastevere bar to realise his dream of reopening the cinema on Via Cardinal Merry del Val.

Carinci, who has received no assistance from the city or from Italy's cultural authorities, will be keeping the cinema's original name. He plans to renovate the interior, removing 1980s décor to uncover the early 20th-century marble and stucco furnishings.

Carinci says the first film to be screened at the reopened cinema will be The Dead Poets Society, the same movie that inaugurated the Alcazar in 1988.

Over the years, the Alcazar broke new ground in Rome by becoming the city’s first cinema to do away with intervals, the first to have padded armchairs, the first to introduce e-tickets and show films in their original language, including English.

However its former owner Georgette Ranucci was forced to close in January, after 28 years in business, due to "unsustainable" annual operating costs: "€50,000 just for rent, staff, electricity, taxes, film rights – the same running costs as multiplex cinemas.”

The reopening of the Alcazar bucks a national trend: over the last ten years 1,150 cinemas have closed across Italy, with the curtain coming down on around 45 movie theatres in the capital alone.