July 15, 2016
By Tarryn Mento
At the corner of El Cajon Boulevard and Central Avenue in City Heights is a vacant lot. But over the next three weeks, the space will transform into a pop-up cinema event featuring Latino films.
Cine Carretera, which translates to Highway Theater, will show movies over the next three Saturdays in July. The event begins with "Un Gallo Con Muchos Huevos," a cartoon flick that follows the journey of a shy chicken as he transforms into a tenacious rooster.
It's the first event at the site since the El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association leased the property in April. The spot at 4050 El Cajon Blvd. is among a number of vacant spaces in the community after California abolished its redevelopment program in 2012. The El Cajon Boulevard Business Improvement Association has dubbed the space #PopUp15 and plans to organize a variety of events there in the future.
For the outdoor movie series, the business group is partnering up with the Media Arts Center.
The Center's Moises Esparza said the purpose of Cine Carretera is two-fold: to bring family-friendly movies in Spanish to the area's large Hispanic community and to give life to an empty space.
"It's really important because this particular area has been in need of redevelopment over the last couple of years, and there seems to be a lack of community events that incorporate arts, culture and positive community activities," Esparza said.
Seating will be available, Esparza added, but he encouraged attendees to bring lawn chairs to ensure everyone has a seat. He also suggested the moviegoers wear warm clothing.
The center is also behind the Latino Film Festival, which is preparing for its 24th year next March.
"It's amazing that we have this longevity and it proves that there is an audience here in San Diego that demands Latino content," Esparza said.
Cine Carretera will show the films with English subtitles.
Each screening will begin with games, entertainment and food for sale at 7 p.m. The movies will start at 8 p.m.