Published 02/01/2024 11:22 | Updated 02/01/2024 11:34
Rio – Pedestrians who passed near number 35 on Rua Voluntários da Pátria, in Botafogo, in the South Zone, heard the screams of approximately 50 people coming from Net Rio Station, around 11:40 pm, last Saturday (27). The public went into despair after employees locked the cinema doors, as they forgot that the film “The Rejected” was still being shown in room 3.
From inside the venue, in the darkness, Marcelo Alonso decided to record a video and recount the tense moment. On social media, the man said he called the Fire Department and the Military Police. “We are trapped. The cinema employees left and left us all locked up. This is absolutely absurd”, said Marcelo, outraged by the situation that night.
Exactly at 11:40 pm, the Fire Department’s Humaitá barracks were called by the public who were trapped at Estação Net Rio, one of the most famous and remaining street cinemas in Rio de Janeiro. However, 25 minutes later, the corporation was informed that the problem had already been resolved. When contacted, the Military Police stated that the employees returned and opened the place, but there was no record of an incident in the battalion in the area.
Also on social media, Ruth Kauffmann detailed how everything happened. “In the audience, approximately 50 people were watching ‘The Rejected’, a wonderful film. When it ended, everyone went to the exit of the room, but everything was dark. Totally pitch black. We took great care not to trip on the stairs. We already found the situation is strange,” he wrote.
Ruth then reported what they did when they realized they were locked. “When we got to the ground floor, the bars on the door were very well locked with several padlocks. We all got desperate and started screaming. About 25 minutes passed and two employees came out saying: ‘We thought there was no one left in the cinema. Sorry , we will open the door for you.’ An inconceivable and desperate situation,” said Ruth.
Through the official “Estação NET de Cinema” profile on Instagram, the executive director of Grupo Estação, Adriana Rattes, said that she was ready to receive the “deserved ovation” from customers. “I want to apologize to everyone who was a victim of this absurd situation. Being locked in a cinema is not acceptable and has never happened in 40 years. This was the result of an error on the part of our manager, who did not go around the theaters before turning off the lights and close the house,” he said.
To the DAY, Adriana said what measures were taken in the case. “The management of Circuito Estação Net is appalled by this episode. Since then, we have been trying to find the people who went through this scare to apologize and look for ways to compensate them. For each one, we will offer a permanent courtesy kit to 2024, always with a companion and popcorn, in addition to holding a special preview just for them. The manager has been suspended while we find out all the details”, explained the director.
The eviction of Net Rio Station
On November 10, 2021, the Rio Court ordered the eviction of Estação Net Rio. At the time, the head of the 27th Civil Court, judge Elisabete Franco Longobardi, explained that the action was motivated by non-payment of late rent for the space , which belongs to the traditional Severiano Ribeiro family.
At the time, Grupo Estação had not paid rent since March 2020, when the pandemic began. “Grupo Estação has had problems fulfilling its commitments to Grupo Severiano Ribeiro (GSR) since 2014, when in support of cinema and its survival, GSR gave up a significant amount of rent, respecting its partners and tenants”, it said the note.
In October 2022, Grupo Estação called for an act to maintain the cinema and stated that it was willing to negotiate. On social media, Estação Net de Cinema called filmmakers, artists and moviegoers to the protest.
On February 10, 2023, the Rio Court of Justice (TJRJ) suspended the sentence that determined the eviction of the traditional cinema. In the decision, the judges unanimously followed the vote of the rapporteur, judge Caetano Ernesto da Fonseca Costa, who ordered expert evidence to verify Grupo Estação’s updated debt in relation to months of unpaid rent.
*Reporting by intern Leonardo Marchetti, under the supervision of Iuri Corsini