The Cinema Batalha is a pivotal building in the city of Porto. It speaks to the city’s first film screenings in the Salão High-Life, in 1906, owned by the company Neves & Pascaud, in what is today Boavista. The cinema was moved to its current site, the civil parish of Cedofeita, Santo Ildefonso, Sé, Miragaia, São Nicolau and Vitória, during the 1940’s, when architect Artur Andrade designed Batalha’s rehabilitation project. The building was re-inaugurated on 3rd June 1947.
Mayor of Porto, Rui Moreira visited the location and witnessed first-hand the working areas. Batalha Centro de Cinema is being restored, with works fully abiding by the Art-Deco design that has always differentiated the city’s landmarks building. It will be inaugurated in the beginning of next year; in the meantime, the canvas on place provides a chronological roadmap to knowing a bit of the history behind this decades old building.
The project by Atelier 15 Arquitectura, of architects Alexandre Alves Costa and Sérgio Fernandez, is very much a restoration job that will preserve the rehabilitation work by Artur Andrade in the 1940’s. The building has been classified as a Public Interest Monument in 2012, and Cinema Batalha was handed over to the municipality that will be in charge of its management for a period of 25 years.
The rehabilitation includes deep structural works, at pavement, wall and ceiling level and also roofing and the establishment of new rooms and new equipment. Also, a multipurpose hall, featuring a bar and other recreational facets will be implemented in the former Sala Bebé and a studio room with room capacity for circa 150 people. The general seats and the galley will have 346 seats and 222 seats, respectively. The project also includes a second screening room and the harnessing of the terraced roof.
Focusing on the promotion of the silver screen, the programming will feature a cultural agenda that attracts all types of audiences. A core project team, coordinated by artistic director Guilherme Blanc, is working on the project of Batalha Centro de Cinema.
The expenditure invested in the building's rehabilitation is now at circa 4 million euros. Works started in November 2019, as the project was sitting in the Court of Auditors for two years, which led to the building further deteriorating.
The building stands as one of the most stunning examples of the Art-Deco style in Portugal and in Porto, along with Coliseu Porto Ageas.