The Great Mobile Cinema: Venezuelans find new cinematic experience amid economic crisis
In Venezuela, moviegoers are finding new ways to enjoy films despite the country's deep economic crisis. Hyper-inflation makes it hardly affordable to go to the movies, but that hasn't stopped people from coming up with their own cinematic experience. CGTN's Mary Triny Mena has more from the Venezuelan capital Caracas.
The big screen brought to an even bigger venue. Organizers are preparing for tonight's presentation in the main square of Venezuela's capital.
BERNARDO ROTUNDO PRESIDENT, MOBILE CINEMA "We can change a square, a street, an avenue, a slum, a park into a movie theater."
Rotundo estimates before the economic downturn, new releases would sell 120-thousand tickets at the country's box offices. Today, it's barely a tenth of that number.
BERNARDO ROTUNDO PRESIDENT, MOBILE CINEMA "This is a sign of an economy that is falling, where people don't spend their money on entertainment or cinema. They are using their income to cover basic needs like health and education."
The Great Mobile Cinema has been running for 14 years, offering free shows to communities across Venezuela. It's a lifeline for movie lovers who can no longer afford a luxury that costs almost as much as the monthly minimum wage.
CARLOS LISBOA CONSTRUCTION WORKER "Your daily income is only for food and for medical emergencies - Going to the movies, it's too expensive."
Streaming movies at home is difficult. The internet is slow, and power cuts are common. To counter that, the Great Mobile Cinema has a backup generator.
MARY TRINY MENA CARACAS, VENEZUELA "It's an easy and inexpensive way to forget about the hardships of day-to-day life and an opportunity to spend a safe night out with the entire family."
The company has hired security guards to ensure families can enjoy these free movies together.
JAQUELINE RENGIFO SECRETARY "For us to go to the cinema, only two members of the family can go at a time. Or just me with my son because we can't afford to go as a family."
Architect Carlos Gonzalez is here with his girlfriend. They love going to the movies, but don't often get the chance.
CARLOS GONZALEZ ARCHITECT "Normally, going to the movies, there are other things to worry about like transportation and security."
Going to the movies used to be one of the cheapest forms of entertainment in Venezuela. This mobile cinema is giving people who can least afford it that experience, without the expense. Mary Triny Mena, CGTN, Caracas.