Black Maria Cinema: The tiny theater screening your favorite indie films
MANILA, Philippines – We’ve seen it countless of times: independent films pulled out of theaters even before they hit day two. Some blame lack of marketing, while others insist Filipinos aren’t ready for this type of storytelling.
Even the 2017 Metro Manila Film Festival entry Ang Larawan was reportedly pulled out of 17 theaters the day after it premiered – we’re talking about a movie that took 5 years to make, only to be axed a day after its release due to poor ticket sales.
Luckily, there have been several micro cinemas opening up in the past year. One of which is Black Maria Cinema, which has been screening both local and independent films since October 2017.
Named after the first motion picture production studio in the world, Black Maria boasts of 2K digital cinema production, 7.1 Dolby Digital Sound, and a 20-foot silver white screen.
Although the theater only seats 40 people, founders Angelo and Sarah Santos promised that viewers would still get the full movie experience.
“As filmmakers ourselves, we want the filmmaker's project [in] its full glory. People won't see low resolution because we understand how hard it is to make a film,” Sarah said.
Perhaps, this is also what sets Black Maria apart from your regular theater. As the founders are filmmakers themselves, they understand how important it is for artists to show their best work, even if that doesn’t always translate to profit.
Angelo and Sarah are also proud of the community they’ve built. When they showed Cinemalaya best picture Respeto, director Treb Moteras II sat in a few screenings and even had a discussion with the audience after. That is definitely something you wouldn’t experience in a mainstream cinema.
Did we mention that they also serve ice-cold beer? – Rappler.com
Black Maria Cinema can be found at 779 San Rafael Street, SQ Film Laboratories Building, Plainview, Mandaluyong. For more information, visit fb.com/BlackMariaCinema.