Featured Mexican movies and Puerto Rican music
Puerto Rican families in Mott Haven, Longwood and Hunts Point in the 1940s and 50s, flocked to the Teatro Puerto Rico. The theater was host to Spanish-language variety shows (variadades), always popular Mexican movies, and shows featuring la música jíbara--country music from the island that helped Puerto Ricans new to New York feel less isolated in the city. Audiences at El Teatro appreciated a little nostalgia, but they also wanted to stay in step. Latin music's greatest stars played here as well: Bobby Capó, Tito Rodríguez, Tito Puente, La Lupe, and others. Percussionist Benny Bonilla recalls the excitement: "We would come through the audience when they introduced us and walk to the stage wearing hats and rhumba shirts. I compare the place, in its enthusiasm, to the Paramount Theater in its heyday. There are spots that just seem to have a life in them." Teatro Puerto Rico also became the...
Nominated through the Mambo to Hip Hop Community Focus project.
Teatro Puerto Rico is about Hispanic music, tradition, and innovation in a wonderful, vibrant neighborhood. Check out the street, the architecture of the Teatro, listen to the music in the street all around. Drive along 138th and you can't miss the Teatro, so its physical presence definitely matters! (June 2008)