Piccolo America: “We have offered 2.5 million to buy Cinema America”

Fondazione Piccolo America has offered 2.5 million euros to Progetto Uno Srl to purchase Cinema America, taking on the costs of restoring the structure as well. This historic experience, born in Trastevere over ten years ago, based on the results achieved within Cinema Troisi, has found the support of some audiovisual entrepreneurs for the creation of the first “Distributed Multiplex” among the alleyways of the Rione. The project, which will also include Cinema Troisi, envisages the reactivation of two more cinemas, starting from America and adding a single-screen with about 70 seats.

“In these months we have presented to some audiovisual entrepreneurs an economic investment project for the realization of a “Distributed Multiplex”. We have thus signed a contract to reproduce the development model of Cinema Troisi. According to this agreement, we sent our offer of 2.5 million euros to buy Cinema America from Progetto Uno Srl, which in 2002 had paid 2.2 million euros for the property to try to demolish it and convert it into parking and apartments. Today we have offered the property more than what they paid to purchase the building, with the commitment to relieve the property from the heavy restoration costs: a proposal that we hope will be considered valid compared to their investment that did not go well,” declares Valerio Carocci, President of Fondazione Piccolo America.

If the ownership of Cinema America were to accept the offer, a new company will be formed, composed of 51% by Fondazione Piccolo America and 49% by the financial partners. If the offer is not accepted within 60 days, the company will still be formed and the investment intended for America will be allocated to the restoration of another hall, always accompanied by a smaller second one.

“In both cases,” Carocci continues, “we will aim to involve further financiers and donors, opening up the possibility for more parties to purchase different cuts of shares within the 49% of the company. At the end of this process, we will make public the names of all supporters. The new company, in which we will participate with our non-profit organization, will receive a shareholder funding of 3 million euros, which also includes the restoration costs of the third smaller structure involved.

We have made ourselves available to the property to find different solutions, such as rent. In the absence of an agreement, we have still proposed a meeting with Progetto Uno Srl to understand what future they imagine for the structure. We trust in the start of a relationship that no longer sees us in opposition, so that Cinema America does not remain abandoned, but is returned to its original cultural and public function,” Carocci concludes.

“As Fondazione Piccolo America, in 10 years we plan to bring back the investment financiers and acquire all shares of the company – adds Federico Croce, General Manager of the Fondazione – In this way we could become the only owners of Cinema America.”

“The management of the “Distributed Multiplex” will be entrusted to Piccolo America and will include three halls, including Cinema Troisi. Our dream is to create a cinematic district where the multiplex carpet is replaced by the cobblestones of the most beautiful alleys in the world, with the opening of ticket offices in the former newsstands of Ponte Sisto and Ponte Garibaldi. Each room will live of its architectural and historical peculiarities, each with its own identity.

The involvement of private investors is for us the arrival point of an experience that starting from the grassroots has demonstrated entrepreneurial ability in non-profit and the proof that another model of cinema hall and cultural space, as happened with Troisi, can be economically sustainable today,” concludes Croce.

The ruling of the State Council of March 15, 2023, has definitively blocked speculation on Cinema America and recognized its value as a cultural interest asset, leaving to the ownership the responsibility of restoration and conservation costs. If Progetto Uno Srl were to want to reopen the building, even through third-party management, Piccolo America has nonetheless made itself available to collaborate in order to bring the structure back to life while preserving its architectural peculiarities.

16 May 2023