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Recuerdos de un cine en español: Latin American Cinema in Los Angeles

Allá en el Rancho Grande  (1936)     

UCLA Film & Television Archive recently embarked on a major research, preservation and exhibition project, as part of the Getty-led Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative.  Recuerdos de un cine en español: Latin American Cinema in Los Angeles, 1930-1960 spotlights the Spanish-language film culture of downtown Los Angeles with an extensive program of film screenings in fall of 2017.  Between 1930 and 1960, Los Angeles played host to a vibrant Latin American cinema culture centered on North Main Street’s Mexican-American neighborhoods, where nearby venues such as the Teatro Eléctrico, the California Theatre and the Million Dollar Theatre showed films originating from Mexico, Argentina and Cuba.  Los Angeles was also a center of production and distribution for Spanish-language films.  Not only have a number of the downtown cinemas been destroyed or fallen out of use, but some of the films have also fallen out of history, unpreserved or their memory lost.

With Recuerdos de un cine en español, audiences and film historians will rediscover Los Angeles as one of the most important hubs in the U.S. for the production, distribution and exhibition of films made for Spanish-speaking audiences.  The project has already resulted in a landmark partnership with the Cinemateca de Cuba—a national film archive that has not previously collaborated with a U.S. cultural institution—to identify, restore and distribute pre-revolutionary Cuban cinema.  In addition to the Cinemateca de Cuba, the Archive will also be working with the Cineteca Nacional of Mexico and the Fundación Cinemateca Argentina on this groundbreaking project to research and preserve pre-1960 Latin American films.  Recuerdos de un cine en español: Latin American Cinema in Los Angeles, 1930-1960 is supported through grants from the Getty Foundation.

Archive director Jan-Christopher Horak and Cinemateca de Cuba director Luciano Castillo.


  •  Researching, collecting, cataloging and restoring Spanish-language films, in cooperation with the Cinemateca de Cuba, Cineteca Nacional of Mexico, and the Fundación Cinemateca Argentina
  •  A film retrospective that will screen in Los Angeles from September 23 - December 10, 2017 at the Billy Wilder Theater and the Downtown Independent
  •  The publication of a bilingual exhibition catalog
  •  Interviews with film archivists, scholars and other individuals on Spanish-language film culture in Los Angeles, which will be available to researchers
  •  Hollywood Goes Latin: Spanish-Language Cinema in Los Angeles, a multi-disciplinary symposium that was held April 29–30, 2017 at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Los Angeles, as part of the 2017 FIAF Congress, co-hosted by UCLA Film & Television Archive and the Academy Film Archive
  •  The publication of an anthology of critical essays, Recuerdos de un cine en español: Cinema between Latin America and Los Angeles, Origins to 1960 (edited by Colin Gunckel, Jan-Christopher Horak, Lisa Jarvinen; Rutgers University Press)
  •  A touring exhibition of selected films that will travel to other cities in North America, beginning in 2018
  •  A UCLA graduate seminar on the cinemas of Mexico, Cuba, Brazil and Argentina from 1930-1960, taught by series co-curator and lecturer María Elena de las Carreras


Casta de Roble  (1954)     


  • "Latin American cinema culture is celebrated in a new PST: LA/LA series" Los Angeles Times
  • "When Spanish-language cinema flourished in Los Angeles"The Art Newspaper
  • "Golden Age Latin American Films Return to Downtown L.A. for Screening Series LAist
  • "Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA" Criterion Daily
  • "UCLA teams with Cuban film archive on Latin American cinema project" — Los Angeles Times
  • "Cuban Film Restoration Project Launched at UCLA" — Variety


Recuerdos de un cine en español is part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles, taking place from September 2017 through January 2018 at more than 70 cultural institutions across Southern California.  Pacific Standard Time is an initiative of the Getty.  The presenting sponsor is Bank of America.