In 1953, Cuba had 694 cinemas and theaters. Havana alone had 134, more than New York or Paris. In 2014, New York–based documentary photographer Carolina Sandretto set out to find and photograph, with a 1950s medium-format camera, the remaining cinemas from that golden era. In Sandretto's words, “These buildings, that were once the gathering places of the people, have fallen into the oblivion of their own society.” This book is the visual document of her journey.
This body of work, featured in Atlas Obscura and CNN Style, captures the vast breadth of styles that these silver screen palaces were built in, styles influenced by the times and aspirations in which they were built: from the art deco and Mayan revival Los Angeles styles of the '20s and '30s to the modernist socialist architecture that advertised the cinema as an art form for all.
Carolina Sandretto, is an Italian photographer based in New York City with a background in both non-profit organizations management and documentary photography.