Keeping our generation’s mad obsession with Netflix-and-chill aside for a bit, let us look at these cinema theaters, which look like art-houses and are no less than paradise for the true aficionado who eats, prays, and loves cinema. By Shubhanjana Das
1. Cineteca Matadero, Madrid, Spain:
It is unbelievable that the breathtakingly striking Cineteca Matadero in Madrid used to be a slaughterhouse! What used to be an abattoir and a livestock market for as long as 85 years was converted into this cinema theater, which now houses two screens, a film studio, an archive and a terrace for outdoor screenings. The ambiance is one that is best experienced when you go there to watch one of the many documentaries or experimental movies it screens.
2. Cinémathèque Française:
Till 1993, Cinémathèque Française had little more than its silver screens to boast about. This changed when Frank Gehry opened the Cinematheque back in the day. It is now turned into an archive of film prints, thanks to Henri Langlois who assembled the collection over a few decades, depicting the long and historic timeline of French cinema. The architectural genius of the theater, its facade, and the lobby is all thanks to Gehry’s masterful curation.
3. Cine Thision, Athens, Greece:
Sure, there’s nothing quite extraordinary about another outdoor cinema theater, but there’s a reason why Cine Thision is an exception. After all, how many outdoor theaters can boast of an awe-inspiring view of the Parthenon, being situated at the foot of the Acropolis? The Athenians’ summers have been more than eventful since 1935 when the theater started screening shows.
4. Fox Theater, Detroit, Michigan:
Dating back to 1928, the Fox Theater was built as a part of the Howard Fox’s colossal empire. It was surely one of the many cinema houses that were named after him but it isn’t without a reason that it was honored with the title of being ‘the most magnificent Temple of Amusement in the World.’ Built in a lavish oriental style, it was the very first to have escalators and elevators, and all the equipment for screening movies with sound.
5. Arena, Pula, Croatia:
One of the 6 largest remaining Roman arenas in the world, Arena Pula was built in 27 BC- 68 AD! It is the most well-preserved monument in Croatia and is still used for staging many concerts. Its stage has been graced by multiple artists till date including the Foo Fighters, Norah Jones, Leonard Cohen, and David Gilmour. Besides, cinematic works are also screened in the amphitheater architecture is as rich as its impressive history of the centuries.
6. Raj Mandir, India:
India’s very own Raj Mandir deserves a special mention here. Looking at it you’ll see that it is no less than a grand palace built in a rare Art Moderne style. What should you expect at Raj Mandir other than a consistently full house every night? Majestic white lights in the lobby before the movie starts, blue lights during the interval, and… *drum rolls* floral scents pumped out of air conditioning ducts placed under each of its 1,000 seats.