Photo: The Municipal Theatre and Cinelandia, Rio do Janeiro’s Hyde Park
The US Embassy in Brazil has cancelled the Public Speech scheduled for Sunday in Rio at the historic plaza Cinelândia. The embassy gave no explanation for the decision but did say that President Obama will deliver remarks at Rio’s Municipal Theatre instead. It is uncertain if this event will be open to the public or exclusively for invited guests.
Cinelândia is in the centre of Rio, surrounded by important buildings, such as the National Library, the Municipal Theatre and the Rio de Janeiro City Legislative Assembly (“Câmera dos Vereadores”).
The large plaza was originally in front of a convent (“Convento da Ajuda”) built around 1750. At the beginning of the 20th century an urban modernization movement took place in Rio. The convent was demolished (in 1911) and a wide avenue was built (now Rio Branco) along with a series of skyscrapers that all had movie theatres on the ground floor, hence the name, Cinelândia. Most of the cinemas have closed, but the area remains a vibrant and busy area.
Security concerns appears the most likely reason for the cancellation. Security has been an issue in Cinelândia. as it is a very large open area surrounded on almost all sides by skyscrapers.