There’s a reason why “dinner and a movie” has been a dating staple since the dawn of cinema. Despite being one of the most universally acknowledged clichés of Western culture, we continue this pattern of courtship because, when practised in moderation, it’s usually pretty fun. If you’re spending time in Santiago and decide you want to play your favorite annual date-night card, do yourself a favor and go to Lastarria.
Photo by Katie David
Home to some of the city’s best restaurants, this beautiful cobblestone street is truly worlds apart from what you might expect of a South American city. The area’s subtle splendor feels closer to Venice than La Vega. Although dinner may come with a bit of a price tag, you’ll be happy to splurge when you consider the low cost and exceptional value of the theater.
El Biógrafo provides a refreshing change of pace from the monstrous, corporate megaplexes we’ve grown accustomed to in the United States. Although it only shows two films at a time that are changed fairly infrequently, every two or three weeks, at CP$2.000 (US$4.25) Monday through Wednesday and CP$3.000 (US$6.40) on the weekend, El Biógrafo offers one of the best entertainment values in the city.
But there are more perks to El Biógrafo than just its low ticket prices. You are hit by its unique, retro feel the second you walk through its giant glass doors; the lobby feels more like that of a small playhouse than a movie theater. The screen may be a bit smaller than what you might find at a Hoyt’s, but there’s certainly not a bad seat in the house.
Photo by Katie David
In fact, after paying at the ticket window, you are asked to select where you’d like to sit, based on a pegboard seating chart. Wherever there’s a rolled up piece of paper, there’s a free seat. Whether you choose to sit center-front or prefer the balcony, it’s impossible to be disappointed by El Biógrafo’s plush, velvet-covered seats.
Like most other cinemas in Chile, films are presented in their original language with Spanish subtitles, so there’s no need to worry if you’re not bilingual. After the show, head to one of Lastarria’s excellent bars for a pisco sour or a delicious cerveza artesenal. Of course, if you dont want to rack up the bill, you could always stray away from the "dinner and movie" idea, or even go halves on it!
Calle Jose Victorino Lastarria 181
(0)2 633 4435