Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cine Plaza Series Returns

Posted By on Thu, Nov 11, 2010 at 6:20 PM

Take it from my 75-year-old mother, who grew up in the south part of Tucson and frequented the Cine Plaza with her sisters and parents: The Cine Plaza series at the Fox is good fun. We loved what organizers did last spring, and they promised a return with the comedies of Continflas, Tin Tan, Sara Garcia and Joaquin Pardave.

The new series starts Sunday, Nov. 14 and continues on Sundays through Nov. 28. All shows take place at the Fox Theatre, 17 W. Congress St., at 2 p.m. Tickets are $8 ($6 for students) at the door. For more on the series, call the Fox at 547-3040, or visit

The Spanish-language theater went away as part of Tucson's last version of urban renewal in the 1960s, along with an entire neighborhood. All continue to be missed today. That nostalgia from the series only grew with the screening of a short film produced by Ralph Gonzalez, Julie Gallego and Daniel Buckley on the Cine Plaza and downtown Tucson before urban renewal. I saw people weep around me while watching the documentary, including a few tears from my mother, who saw old friends almost every Sunday at the theater.

The Nov. 14 show will feature a re-screening of that documentary. According to a press release from Buckley, two other short documentries on Barrio Anita and urban renewal were produced at the same time and were put on a DVD with the first documentary. The DVD will be sold at the Fox for $20.

Buckely said to expect a new trio of historic documentaries, including one on Barrio Hollywood, that will be screened at the spring and summer Cine Plaza series.

Read more about each movie in the comedy series after jump.

AL SON DEL MAMBO (1950) (November 14)

Starring Resortes, Mambo King Perez Prado & his original mambo orchestra, and famous Cuban “Rumbera” Amalia Aguilar.

Resortes (Adalberto Martinez) plays the role of a millionaire from Mexico City who decides he needs to sneak off to Havana, incognito, for some much needed peace & quiet. Once he arrives, he finds everything but peace & quiet and ends up getting involved with a group of musicians trying to put on a big show.

Filmed in both Mexico & pre-Castro Cuba, this film is a classic on many levels. Resortes has a chance to not only display some of his comic genius that made him one of the most popular names of the day in Mexican cinema, but he also dances up a storm with Perez Prado and his orchestra reminding us where his nick name “Resortes” came from and showing us that he indeed was the world’s original “Michael Jackson.”

This movie’s success and the dance (The Mambo) it showcased spread like wildfire provoking a severe backlash from the Catholic Church, claiming the Mambo was a sensual and immoral dance. Enough in fact that in several Spanish speaking countries, parents were warned to “prevent your sons and daughters from corruption, don’t let them view this immoral movie”. Several South and Central American countries banned both the movie and the dance, with one or two even going so far as to embargo any recordings featuring mambo rhythms. Scandalous stuff back in 1950. If you find that can’t suppress the urge to jump out of your seat and dance at any while you are watching this movie, please feel free to do so.

AHI ESTA EL DETALLE (1940) starring Cantinflas (November 21)

Señora Dolores, a very un-faithful wife of a Mexico City millionaire makes Cantinflas an offer he can’t refuse. For a piece of the financial pie she asks him to pretend to be her long lost brother so she can inherit a family fortune, be rid of her jealous husband, and run off with her boyfriend. Our hero is only too glad to help since he himself is having a secret affair with La Señora’s maid. All seems to be going well until Cantinflas’ long abandoned wife shows up with a handful of their children looking to get in on the action.

This is Cantinflas at the top of his game with the help of two other great Mexican comedians of the day, Sara Garcia & Joaquin Pardave. Bring plenty of kellenx to wipe the tears of laughter from your eyes.

CALABACITAS TIERNAS (1949) starring Tin Tan (November 28)

This was Tin Tan’s first full starring vehicle as the Pachuco that made him famous and one of the last films he was to make without his carnal Marcelo. Here, we find our hero riding along on his bicycle one sunny day, happily minding his own business, when a body fall out of a tree and lands his head, knocking him out cold. He’s taken in and nursed back to health by a shady night club owner who thinks he can use Tin Tan as a way to hide from people he owes money to. Our hero (Tin Tan) one up’s him, and has the time of his life searching the world for night club talent and spending money that doesn’t exist. Along the way he gets a chance to romance the beautiful Rosita Quintana and famous “rumbera” Amalia Aguilar and a chance to show off his talent as a great singer and comic.X

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