Architecture, News I 01.05.19 I by

Cuba’s faded cinemas are cast in a starring role by photographer
 Carolina Sandretto

Italian photographer Carolina Sandretto travelled across the Caribbean island of Cuba in search of its cinemas for her new book Cines de Cuba.

Mostly built in the 1950s – an era when the island’s economy was prospering – Sandretto says she was surprised to discover how abundant and geographically-widespread these ‘hidden treasures’ were.

Cine Record (c) Carolina Sandretto, Cines de Cuba, Skira 2019
Cine Record (c) Carolina Sandretto, Cines de Cuba, Skira 2019

Cuba once had almost 600 film theatres, most of which were built and managed by America companies such as 20th Century Fox, but they have slowly fallen into decline since Cuban Revolution due to lack of money and films. Now only 19 are still used for that purpose.

Says Sandretto: ‘Some were destroyed, some abandoned, but some are being renovated and reused for the benefit of the local community.’

Cine Apollo (c) Carolina Sandretto, Cines de Cuba, Skira 2019
Cine Apollo (c) Carolina Sandretto, Cines de Cuba, Skira 2019

After spotting a cinema on a visit to the island in 2014, Sandretto came upon the idea for the project. With the help of a book from 1953, she tracked down and photographed more than 300 cinemas over four years.

Sandretto added: ‘Like many icons of a past era, they remind us of a time when communication was shared and not personal and personalised as it is now.’

‘Cines de Cuba’ is out now published via Skira

Cine Riviera (c) Carolina Sandretto, Cines de Cuba, Skira 2019
Cine Riviera (c) Carolina Sandretto, Cines de Cuba, Skira 2019
Cine Yara (c) Carolina Sandretto, Cines de Cuba, Skira 2019
Cine Yara (c) Carolina Sandretto, Cines de Cuba, Skira 2019

Read next: Unearthing London’s lost cinemas

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