A place that was also a water hole for those who lived at Balboa, was the Balboa Theater next to the Balboa Clubhouse. The place was modern, good looking and had the latest technology in movie projection.
It was the best movie house on the Isthmus. In fact, many Balboa inhabitants thought it was the best theater in the whole world with a balcony and super-Hi-Fi almost stereo surround-sound. If you want to take a peek inside the theater, please click here and enjoy the view. The theater followed the Art Deco architecture style.
Art Deco burst onto the world stage at the 1925 Paris Exposition Internationale, and quickly swept across the globe. Its influence was everywhere: it transformed the skylines of the cities of New York to Shanghai and shaped the design of everything from fashionable evening wear to plastic radios.
Its charm swept across all areas of art and design, including decorative arts,architecture, fashion, art, graphics and film. The new aesthetics were also found in industrial design, furniture, transport, communications and in household items. Above all, it became the style of the pleasure palaces of the age—hotels, cocktails bars, nightclubs and cinemas.
Currently the Balboa Theater is under the administration of Panama Government, Instituto Nacional de Cultura (National Institute of Culture). It’s the venue of two very popular talent contests for young kids and young adults. The first one is called, “Canta Conmigo” (Sing With Me) and the second, “Vive La Música” (Live the Music). These talent contests follow the pattern of “American Idol” in the United States and “Britain’s Gots Talent” in the U.K. The latter catapulted opera singer Paul Potts to stardom.
I was there on Sunday, March 22, 2009 and took the following photographs for your enjoyment and remembrance. Here we go.
This is one of the best kept buildings of the former Canal Zone. The program to promote the talent of our young generation is very stimulating. Good Day.