Jose Daire Cortes, 74, died of leukemia March 14, 50 years after he built his first cinema. He was president of Conate, Chile’s largest exhibitor. His company also distributes Disney and Columbia product and, associated with Cinemark, he initiated the multiplex era in Chile.
His career had its most difficult moments in the early ’70s when the Socialist government nationalized his cinemas, but after the military coup five of his Santiago houses were returned to him and he started anew, rebuilding an even stronger circuit. In 1988, when it was privatized by the government, he bought Chile Films, which is now a thriving facility. The company also has made investments in Argentina, including the Cinecolor laboratory.
He is survived by his wife, Haydre and a son.