Condes Cinema, Lisbon

Façade of the Condes Cinema

While the Condes Cinema opened in 1951 buildings at this location of Praça dos Restauradores at Rua Condes already had a long history as theatres. First opening as the Teatro da Rua dos Condes in 1738, the theatre began its life as an opera house. It was constructed on land on land owned by the Conde da Ericeira (Count of Ericeira) by what is now known as the Rua Condes. This was a part of the city popular with the nobility, and several aristocrats had their palaces there. The theatre had to be rebuilt in 1755 after being badly damaged by the terrible Lisbon earthquake earlier that year.

A new theatre, the Teatro Novo da Rua dos Condes, was constructed in 1888 on the same location, and ten years later it  remodelled inside to increase seating capacity. Then the twentieth century and its technological marvels arrived and by 1915 theatre had been converted into a cinema. This survived for decades until 1951 when it was torn apart to make way for a purpose-built cinema, the building we see today. The architect Raul Tojal began with the shell of the previous theatre and the new cinema was able to project 70mm films. The new Condes Cinema almost survived until the twenty-first century, closing in 1997. It was converted into the Hard Rock Café, Lisbon, in 2003.

The angel of cinema
The corner location at Praça dos Restauradores

Eden Teatro, Lisbon

Possibly Lisbon’s most impressive Art Deco façade

The Eden Teatro, or Eden Theatre, sits on the Praça dos Restauradores in central Lisbon, and is one of Lisbon’s most spectacular cinema buildings, showing films up until 1989. Cassiano Branco and Carlo Florencio Dias were the architects responsible for this Art Deco palace, which opened in 1931. The building features a magnificent, creamy pink coloured marble façade and a floating stone frieze across the top. There is also an abundance of geometric fenestration throughout. The interior was altered when it was converted into an apart-hotel complex in 2001.

Take note of the masks mascarading as capitals
Some details of the carved frieze

Enmore Theatre, Sydney

Warm colours and Jazz Age lettering

With this post we are once more off to the theatre. In fact, the Enmore Theatre is not only the longest running one in Sydney, Australia, but also the only surviving Art Deco styled theatre there. It can be found in the Newtown area at 118-132 Enmore Road and was first built in 1908, opening in 1912 as a cinema for silent movies with a concert orchestra providing their soundtracks. The Enmore was designed by the architects Kaberry & Chard and renovated in 1920, but this is a bit early for the geometric styling we see here. It was probably renovated again in the 1930s.

The Enmore is still going strong in its second century of theatre and cinema existence and can fit 1,700 seated and 2,500 standing. It has always balanced big name acts like Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones with native Australian acts and local events. This may well have been the key to its survival as the arrival of television saw the closing and demolition of many fine entertainment houses globally. Many thanks to Keith Barrett for providing these photographs.

Horizontal and vertical juxtapositions in pastel tones
Another view of the Enmore Theatre’s façade

Teatro Rialto, Valencia

Grids of windows on the Teatro Rialto

If you should visit the Spanish seaside town of Valencia you might discover the marvellous Teatro Rialto there. Located in Plaza del Ayuntamiento (Town Hall square) in the central city area, it was designed by the architect Cayetano Borso di Carminati and constructed in 1939. Originally a cinema, it was taken over by the Valencian government who converted it into a theatre in the 1980s. It also has a screening hall for the local government’s film library. The Teatro Rialto makes an interesting comparison with the Kaaitheater in Brussels:

The complete façade

Cinema São Jorge, Lisbon

A late Art Deco cinema in Lisbon

The Cinema São Jorge (Saint George) was financed by the Rank Organisation, a British film company, and built to provide a venue to show their films. The cinema was designed by the Lisbon-born architect Fernando Silva and constructed from 1947 to 1950. Located at Avenida da Liberdade, 175, the São Jorge was at this time the biggest cinema anywhere on the Iberian peninsula. It continued to function as a cinema into the twentieth century and was taken over in 2007 by Lisbon’s City Council who have continued this, sometimes running film festivals in it.

Modern sans serif lettering
Now run by Lisbon city council

A Barraca, Santos, Lisbon

Once a cinema.

The Cinearte cinema, at 2 Largo de Santos, was constructed in 1938, and features some details which give it an industrial look. Designed by the architect Raul Rodrigues Lima, it ran as a cinema for over four decades, closing in 1981. It was reborn in 1990 as a theatre named ‘A Barraca’ or ‘The Shack’. ‘A Barraca’ has now been successfully bringing a new theatrical dimension to the Santos district for thirty years. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s Raul Rodrigues Lima designed a number of Portuguese cinemas, as well as courts and prisons.

A glass brick tower.