A masked hero is coming to the Plaza Theatre. No, it’s not Batman. It’s the iconic Mexican luchador El Santo.
The Paso del Norte Foundation and the Permanencia Voluntaria Film Fund presents Cine Fantástico, an evening celebrating the legacy of one of Mexico’s most important cinema families and the restoration of the 1961 film Santo contra Cerebro del Mal.
The restored film will make its Texas premiere at 7 p.m. Thursday, November 1, 2018, at the historic Plaza Theatre in Downtown El Paso. The screening is free of charge and open to the public. Doors will open at 6 p.m.
Special guest, Viviana García Besné, granddaughter of the film’s producer and director of the Permanencia Voluntaria Archive, will introduce the film; and discuss the restoration and her work preserving popular Mexican films.
The event will also announce the establishment of the Permanencia Voluntaria Film Fund at the Paso del Norte Foundation and build awareness for the ongoing preservation work of the Archive.
Paso del Norte Foundation CEO Tracy Yellen states, “We are excited to support the work of the Archive and its mission to preserve the legacy of one of Mexico’s important film families, who has significant history in El Paso and Juarez.”
García Besné’s family were entrepreneurs from Chihuahua who owned and managed several theaters in El Paso and Mexico, including the Cine Plaza in Juárez; and the beloved Colón, Alcázar, Estrella, and Rex Theaters on South El Paso Street.
The Calderóns produced over 150 films, including those starring El Santo, and established Azteca Films, one of the most significant Latin American film distribution companies in the world.
El Santo, along with the series of popular films he starred in, are credited with making professional wrestling one of Mexico’s most popular traditions.
García Besné added, “It’s a very special treat for me to be able to show my grandfather’s film in El Paso, and tell the story of my family and how much this city, and Juarez, meant to their business and their lives.”
The screening spotlights the work of the nonprofit Permanencia Voluntaria Archive and celebrates the first film starring the famed Mexican wrestler, El Santo.