Nowadays there’s usually a big sci-fi super-hero movie in theaters.
But back in the day, there was one masked champion rolling with the punches on the big screen.
The world-famous masked hero, El Santo, is going to be making a stop at the El Paso Plaza Theatre on Thursday.
“People cheer for El Santo and for me it’s like recreating the experiences that my family wanted to have in this theater,” said Viviana Garcia Besne, director of the Permanencia Voluntaria Film Archive.
Besne grew up watching the Mexican luchador El Santo.
“El Santo is our national hero, a Mexican super hero and it’s known all around the world,” Besne said.
Her family was the first to put El Santo on film in “Santo Contra Cerebro del Mal,” and even owned movie theaters throughout the Sun City including the Colon Theater.
Today it blends in with stores in the 500 block of El Paso Street, but it used be a place of bonding.
“What I really like the most about what happened inside this theater, is that it was a communal experience,” Besne said. “Everyone would get around together and the experience of watching a film and it doesn’t matter who you were, where you were from; the only thing that mattered was to have a nice time inside this movie theater.”
The Permanencia Voluntaria Film Archive is now partnering with the Paso del Norte Foundation to restore classic films rich in culture. And what better way to start than with the luchador.
“There’s generations that they know El Santo but there are younger generations that have never went to a movie theater to watch an El Santo film. Usually, our kids today, the way they watch films is, they watch it on a tablet or on an iPhone and i think that’s not fair because they don’t realize power of an experience of a communal experience.”
The film “Santo Contra Cerebro del Mal” will run on Thursday at 7 p.m. free of charge.
There will be an altar to honor El Santo for Dia de los Muertos.