Photos by Juan Moore
A vision of 1930s architecture, La Merced is one of Bogota’s darlings when it comes to historical viewings. Right in the middle of it is Cine Tonalá, a spacious, remodeled house where cinema, food and cool aesthetics combine.
The immediate sense of cool derives from the precise combination between old-school references and modern vibes. Antique wooden floors create a hip contrast with timeless, modernist furniture and lamps. The traces of time are visible in the place’s very structure – wooden compositions, a dazzling staircase, a traditional fireplace – all of which are enriched by the subtle touches of modernist chairs, old movie posters and round glass lamps.
It is also a space for social versatility, perfect for a breakfast meeting, a relaxed lunch or an afternoon coffee. It also attracts young, hip and artsy types that are seeking dinner, drinks and a film. The menu serves a lively combination of Mexican food – as Cine Tonalá comes originally from Mexico - Colombian touches and an American diner style.
But, above all, this place is a bubbling ode to cinema. It showcases films – current and independent, Colombian and Latin American – it holds workshops and seminars; and it is also a space for other expressive and lively takes on visual culture (stand up comedy, intimate performances and also a little bit of music.) Art exhibitions can also be found and the space is often a destination for cool parties and unexpected viewings (imagine listening to all Beatles melodies as videos of the band play out in the back.)
Cine Tonalá is a celebration of the creative senses – conceding its visitor the possibility to engage with taste, visuals and the always magical realm of film.