Transcripción de un artículo aparecido en The 1922-23 Film Daily Year Book of Motion Pictures, publicado por New York, Wid’s Films and Film Folk, Inc., pp. 424-425. En el breve escrito se habla someramente de los cines que había en Sonora durante la década de los 20 del siglo pasado. La información se la debemos al vice-consul de los Estados Unidos en Guaymas.
A survey of the industry in Sonora was made by Vice Consul Harold C. Wood, of the American Consulate at Guaymas, Mexico. It shows that 70% of all the pictures shown in the State of Sonora are American made. Says Mr. Wood:
“Among the Mexicans of all classes the serial is most popular. The serial pictures are not exhibited one episode at a performance, as is the custom in the United States, but owing to the fact that the films are exhibited in a motion picture circuit from Mazatlan, Sinaloa, to Nogales, Sonora, they must necessarily be shown as quickly as possible, and therefore six or seven episodes are shown in an evening. If the serial is a long one, its exhibition will be concluded in less than a week.
Next in favor are the comedies of the slapstick variety. These comedies are much liked by the lower classes, who constitute the majority of the motion picture patrons. However, the more educated and refined Mexicans prefer the heavy and romantic dramas, or a comedy of the lighter type.
Source of Supply
About seventy per cent of the pictures shown here are of American make, and the remaining thirty per cent are distributed equally among German, French and Italian pictures.
As a rule, a town of 5,000 cannot support more than one motion picture theater. Guaymas with a population of 8,000, has had several new motion picture theaters started, but they have all failed with the exception of the Cine Majestic, which is now the only one in operation and which does a good business. Hermosillo, the State Capital, with a population of 12,000, supports three motion picture theaters, the Salon Atenas, with a seating capacity of 1,100; the Teatro Noriega, seating 1,600, and the Cine Sonora, which can seat 2,000 persons. The Cine Majestic, in Guaymas, has two hundred so-called orchestra seats and 400 seats in the gallery. The seats – both orchestra and gallery – are most uncomfortable. The Benito Juarez Theater in Empalme, an American railroad town, seats about 400 persons.
In Hermosillo the prices of admission, in Mexican money, are as follows:
Salon Atenas, $.30 first class, $.20 second class.
Teatro Noriega, $1.00 first class, $.50 second class.
Cine Sonora, $.20 first class, $.10 second class.
In Empalme the prices are $.50 first class and $.25 second class.
In Guaymas, the Cine Majestic charges $.50 first class. These prices are variable, however, depending on the film shown and the addition of extra attractions, such as an additional orchestra, etc.
All the pictures shown in this district are controlled by Sr. Guillermo Ascona, Apartado 52, Mazatlan, Sinaloa. This firm distributes pictures through the States of Sonora, Sinaloa, Nayarit and Baja California.
At the Guaymas customhouse the following duties are quoted: Blank films pay a duty of $1.50, Mex., per net kilogram. All advertising matter that is in film form pays $1.50, Mex., per net kilogram. Lithographed or printed posters for advertising purposes pay a duty of $.30, Mex., per kilogram.