While the future state of movie theaters remains in flux, there are some encouraging signs that cinemas are making a comeback. Movie lovers in Albuquerque, for example, will be stoked to know that the long-shuttered Movies 8 at 4591 San Mateo Blvd. NE is reopening this weekend. Albuquerque’s two “dollar theaters,” Movies 8 and Movies West (on Coors), were owned by the Cinemark chain, but closed down after more than 30 years in business back in June of 2020, an early victim of the COVID pandemic. Icon Cinemas—which operates theaters in Colorado Springs, Colo., San Angelo Texas and Albuquerque (in the 4 Hills Village Shopping Center)—took over the space and has spent the last year adding luxury seating and a full bar. For details on the grand opening, go to iconcinemas.com.
S’all Good, Man
Fans have been waiting patiently (or not) for the final season of the locally shot crime drama “Better Call Saul.” It’s finally happening, and Tractor Brewing in Wells Park (1800 Fourth St. NW) is hosting a “Better Call Saul” Watch Party on Monday, April 18 from 6 to 9pm to check out the two-hour season premiere. Marq and Ed from The Breaking Bad Store ABQ are back as your watch party hosts. There will be raffles, prizes, special appearances, live painting by Cloudface and, of course, the opportunity to watch your favorite Albuquerque lawyer, Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) break bad. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased in advance by going to holdmyticket.com/event/391092. All proceeds go to Cardboard Playhouse Theatre Company, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization which has been producing quality youth theater in Albuquerque for over 15 years.
The first annual AfroMundi Festival—Shared Roots: A Celebration of Afro LatrinX Culture hits Albuquerque April 17 through 23. This weeklong festival features music, dance, literature, culinary taste feasts, film, visual art and panel discussions. On Monday, April 18 the festival features a screening and panel discussion of the film Anjelica. The film screens in Spanish with English subtitles starting at 7pm at the National Hispanic Cultural Center (1701 Fourth St. SW). The film takes an intimate look at racial issues within a Puerto Rican family and brings taboo discussions of racial politics to the foreground. Panelists include author Mayra Santos-Febres, UNM Latin American & Iberian Institute Associate Professor Eleuterio Santiago Díaz and visiting sociology scholar Raquel Z. Rivera. On Tuesday, April 19 at 7pm it’s a screening and panel discussion of Jamaica y Tamarindo. This Spanish-language (with English subtitles) documentary explores Afro-Mexican identities via multiple perspectives. Panelists include film director Ebony Marie Bailey, Dr. Dora Careaga Coleman and community organizer Heather Smith. The film screenings come to a close on Thursday, April 21 at 7 pm with Miguel Angel Rosales’ debut feature Garumebe: Canciones de tu Memoria Negra. This 72-minute documentary (in Spanish with English subtitles) explores Spain’s slave-owning and slave-trafficking past. The film also depicts the influence of that shared slave past on Spanish and Mexican culture, particularly on Flamenco and Son Jarocho. Panelists for this post-film discussion include Carolina “Caro” Acuna-Overa, Rosalinda Rojas and Yvonne B. Hamilton Gutierrez, all members of Black Flamenco Network. These screenings are free and open to the public, but seating is limited. In-person attendees are encouraged to register in advance by going to afromundi.org/festival. You can also find out info about the other events taking place over the course of the festival by checking out the schedule on the organization’s website.