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Brazil buys up classic film library

Ministry of Culture to restore 67 features

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil’s Ministry of Culture has bought production company Companhia Atlantida Cinematografica’s catalogue and will restore and digitize 67 features plus 1,100 hours of theatrical news and documentaries made between 1942 and 1974.

The country’s largest privately owned film library belonged to the Severiano Ribeiro family, who control No. 2 exhibitor, the Ribeiro Group.

Compared to today’s subsidized pic industry, Atlantida’s comedies and musicals were profitable, drawing hordes of moviegoers eager to see radio-era stars on the bigscreen. With the spread of of free-to-air TV in Brazil in the 1960s, Atlantida’s pics gradually lost their appeal.

The Ministry plans the first phase of restoration and digitization by the end of the year.

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