Rosalío Solano Museum of National Cinema – Bernal, Mexico - Atlas Obscura

Rosalío Solano Museum of National Cinema

Bernal, Mexico

Dedicated to one of the most iconic cinematographers of the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema. 

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Despite its official name, this museum’s focus is almost exclusively on its namesake. Born in Bernal in 1914, Rosalío Solano (aka “Chalío”) is one of the most notable natives of this town. It should be no surprise then that the museum that honors his legacy is located in a privileged colonial building right in the town’s center. Solano’s career started under the tutelage of the legendary Gabriel Figueroa. He started shooting professionally with short films in the late 1940s, with his first features being released in 1951.

This earned him a place in the midst of the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema. This period of black and white films is considered to have taken place over approximately three decades, from the mid 1930s to 60s. Owing to the impact of World War II on English movie-producing countries, the Mexican industry was able to become the production and economic center of films for Latin America during these decades.

Solano is credited with almost 200 works, a majority from this period. Following the end of the Golden Age, he worked in the United States as well, shooting movies like the blaxploitation “Slaughter” as well as Mexican B-movies starring El Santo. He was active until the early 1990s and passed away at age 94 in 2009.

The museum that honors him would open five years later, showcasing some of his awards (including a Silver Ariel, the most important yearly cinema award in Mexico), personal photos and mementos. Additionally, a small projection room plays samples of his work as well as documentary footage of this noted Bernalés.

Know Before You Go

Entrance to the museum is MXN $10. It is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., then 3 to 6 p.m., Tuesday to Friday. Open during the same hours, without break, on weekends.