Having operated for 101 long years, Cine Bichara is now recognized for its historical significance, as Naga City officials reached a consensus to pass a resolution aimed at both preserving and transforming it into a prominent tourist destination.
With its establishment dating back to 1923, Cine Bichara stands as one of the oldest cinemas in Naga City, continuously operating to this day. It’s known to have withstood even the guerrilla attacks which set the town ablaze in 1942.
Jun Bichara, a direct descendant of the original owners, Emily and Victor Bichara, currently owns said cinema.
Siklab Lingkod Bikol (SLB) Founding Chairperson Ronald Rodriguez shared that after discussions with Naga City Mayor Nelson Legacion on Friday, February 2, Bichara agreed not to sell the historic cinema.
“We made a case for Mr. Bichara to not sell the 101 year-old cinema a d preserve it instead to become part of Naga City’s envisioned Heritage District. We also convinced him to allow us to use the same as a new home for local performances,” Rodriguez stated.
Rodriguez also mentioned that Bichara is committed to extending aid to the restoration of the cinema.
This move aligns with the city’s broader vision, highlighted during a regular session of the Sangguniang Panlungsod ng Naga City by Councilor Jose Perez, who expressed how they intend to focus on advancing in the fields of culture, art, and tourism.
In fact, Perez stated that the local government is already preparing to seek and gather local playwrights and writers, as well as organize workshops for local artists, in hopes of creating a vibrant cultural scene. I Kian Kirby Florano, France Gratil