The Auditorio BB / Cine Las Américas was built in 1952 and opened in 1953. Even then, the intersection of Insurgentes and Baja California was an important one. It served as a prominent neighborhood movie theater for many years thereafter.
The groundbreaking auditorium was designed by the prominent architect and theorist, José Villagrán García. It’s among his most important surviving works (which are few). He’d also been in instrumental in the construction of the dramatic Estadio Nacional, essentially across the same neighborhood. Begun in 1923, that project lived, died, and was demolished before ground was broken on the Cine. A couple of photos there give an idea of the scale and magnitude on which Villagrán was capable of performing.
More photos of the remarkably preserved Cine Las Américas are here. Residents of Mexico City are accustomed to ongoing lamentations published in the local arts pages for beautiful 20th-century cinemas and lost to time. Villagrán’s project here is one very exciting exception.
Since 2012, the complex has successfully operated as the Auditorio BB. That used to stand for “Blackberry,” and, in truth, the Auditorio Blackberry seems to be the preferred moniker. It’s a mid-sized city concert venue. It’s played host to many of the most important international and domestic concert events of the past decade.
The retail complex, Puerta Condesa Las Américas, wraps what was never really a prominent façade and marquee. The auditorium was always a much more interior space. But the complex also pays something of a tribute to the lost Cine Las Américas in its very name. A handful of shops and eateries are thus added, and the entire compex is just steps away from Metro Chilpancingo.