by | Jan 12, 2023 | Films


Special Valentine’s Presentation

2012 Oscar Nominee
Best Animated Feature

C H I C O  &  R I T A

Two Screenings – one day only
Saturday Feb 11 at 4 and 7 pm
The Garfield Theatre
Tix $8 & $12 advance;  $12 & $16 door
In English and español with English subs


A beautiful story of love, passion, separation, and reunion that celebrates the culture and music of Cuba and its infusion in New York, Chico & Rita is a feast for the senses:

  • An evocative, tempestuous love story with an ultimately happy ending.
  • Definitive moments in the emergence of Afro-Cuban jazz in the ’40s and ’50s.
  • Lush, sensual visuals with dreamily stylized characters set in the highly detailed color and bustle of Havana, New York, Paris and Las Vegas.
  • Javier Mariscal’s pen-and-ink drawings are elegantly nostalgic and the score by Bebo Valdés is a crowning touch, bringing warmth to the music that animates a depiction of real people, locations and attitudes of the era.


Directors Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal, Spain/UK, 2012, 94 min, romance / jazz / history / animation, rated R for brief nudity and adult situations. In English and español with English subtitles.

THE GARFIELD THEATRE, 719 Race St., Cincinnati, OH 45202.
Google MapGarfield Parking Options

Two Screenings: Saturday, February 11, 2023, at 4:00 and 7:00 pm

General Admission Tickets are $12 in advance, $16 at the door; Student Tickets are $8 in advance and $12 at the door; available online via the Tix Button (top of this webpage), and by phone at (859) 957-3456.

The Garfield is ADA accessible. ADA details and Covid-19 information can be found on the CWC Policies Page.

Purchase of a ticket confirms acceptance by the purchaser that the presenter/host and their staff will not be liable for any loss, damage, action, claim, cost or expenses which may arise in the consequence of attendance at this event.

Purchaser declares that they will not attend unless in good health on the day of the event. Further, purchaser understands it is impossible to guarantee that they will not be exposed to Covid-19 and will attend at their own risk.  No refunds, all sales are final.



    In Chico & Rita, a gifted songwriter and beautiful singer chase their dreams – and each other – from Havana to New York to Paris and to Las Vegas. This classic love story unfolds in the tradition of a Cuban bolero — a ballad telling of their shared love of music, romantic passion and moments of triumph as well as their heartache and separation.

    Told via flashback, the story begins in Havana, 1948. Chico is a young Cuban songwriter and pianist who dreams of making a place for himself in the jazz world. Rita is a beautiful singer with a captivating voice. Music brings them together and they embark on a passionate and tormented love affair. Separately, and together, over the decades they move through the music scene in Cuba and the U.S., performing with many of the luminaries in the jazz world.

    The look and the mood of the era are exquisitely captured with a convincing depiction of real people and attitudes of the period. That uniqueness is refreshing. The atmosphere, street scenes, and even the fashions are evocative and the production gives us the leisurely, deliberate pace of natural people.

    Even the sound effects are spot on, from the way the piano tones echo through a room to footsteps across a floor to the sounds of traffic outside a window, everything has the feel of real life. The music is the common thread and crowning touch — it all comes together beautifully, creating a nostalgic, emotional and memorable experience!


    With sumptuous compositions, CHICO & RITA is a love letter to a bygone era where Cuban and American musicians mixed and created a vital, magical mestizo music. 

    With the emergence of Afro-Cuban jazz and its adoption in New York and elsewhere as a parallel theme to the love story, we’re immersed in a world of passion and music.

    Well-known artists Woody Herman, Tito Puente, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker and Nat King Cole all make appearances, and we also hear the music of Cole Porter and Thelonious Monk, all giving the story a historical foundation. Chano Pozo, a conga player in Gillespie’s band, also has a cameo and his untimely death becomes a minor plot point.

    Cuban composer and pianist Bebo Valdés wrote the score and plays on the soundtrack as Chico. The movie, which contains parts of his own life, is formally dedicated to him. Idania Valdés (no relation) provides Rita’s singing voice. Her performance of Bésame Mucho is one of many standouts.

    Afro-Cuban jazz combines the rhythmic traditions of traditional Afro-Cuban music with the progressive harmonies and improvisation of American jazz music. For decades, this style of music has formed the basis of Latin jazz in the United States, Cuba, and around the world. Learn more here.


    Chico & Rita was co-directed by two Spaniards: Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal. They are friends and collaborators who share a passion for Latin Jazz and Cuban music and culture.

    Trueba won an Oscar for Best Foreign Film with Belle Epoque (Age of Beauty), and his other major works, The Year of Enlightenment, Calle 54, etc., have garnered top awards at prominent festivals and for the past ten years he has edited the Dictionary of Latin Jazz and produced music featuring Bebo Valdes.

    Mariscal is a multi-faceted design genius whose accomplishments range from film to furniture to architecture to image and product design.


    A truly international effort accomplished well before the impact of Covid-19.

    Managed from Estudio Mariscal, the hub in Barcelona, the film was crafted at eleven different studios in six countries: the UK, Spain, Brazil, Hungary, Latvia and the Philippines.

    The rotoscope technique of capturing the animation from actual live-action scenes was the same as used with similarly stunning effect in A Scanner Darkly and Belleville Rendez-Vous.

    The filmmakers imbue the action and character movements with a realistic, yet floating, dream-like feel, and there’s a lovely simplicity to the actual animation that tells the story in a magic and enchanting way.

    The inclusion of real-life luminaries from the world of jazz further grounds the film within a realistic and human setting and the level of detail in recreating old Havana and New York is amazing.

    You’ll marvel at the filmmakers’ abilities and achievements in breathing life and a genuine sense of love into their characters and the environment they inhabit.


    CLICK TO ENLARGEIt couldn’t be easier – across the street from the Garfield Theatre, you’ll find the Butcher & Barrel, home of delicious shareables, salads, entrees, sides and desserts, plus excellent wine, craft beer and mixed drinks.

    For CWC patrons, the Butcher and Barrel offers a 15% discount on your order, excluding alcohol; menu is on their website. Reservations are strongly recommended, especially if you are dining between a CWC double feature. You should present your online confirmation or ticket from the event, and let your server know if there are time constraints. The discount is valid only for the date of your ticket.

    HOURS: MON-TUE, closed; WED-THS, 4-10 pm; FRI-SAT, 4-12 am; SUN, 4-10 pm. The kitchen closes one hour before the restaurant, every night. Hours and menu subject to change – check the website before booking. RESERVATIONS REQUESTED: 513-954-8974,

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