Details

Keywords Change this

Mexican Cinemas, Abandoned Buildings

Project timeline

1947 – 1998

Type

Culture & Entertainment

Location Change this

Serapio Rendon 7, San Rafael
06470 Mexico City
Mexico

Architect Change this

Cine Ópera Change this

Cine Ópera (2015).

1 of 4

Description Change this

Commissioned to Architects Félix Nuncio and Manuel Fontanal in 1947, the Ópera Cinema was intended to reincarnate the peculiarities of Art Deco as part of the apogee of the Mexican Golden Age, involving its glory on each decorative feature -stairs, balconies, frames, doors, lamps and seats-. Its facade, held then two female statues wearing the tragedy and comedy masks, where Mexico City was the exquisite repertoire of details and histories. From its opening in 1949, the Ópera Cinema became one of the most popular in the Mexican capital for decades. For 44 years, it operated as a cinema and theatre until it started its decline after the cracking of one of its screens during the 1985 earthquake. After that, the Ópera Cinema remained very quiet until 1993 when it was taken again as a concert hall, however, due to an altercation with the British band Bauhaus, the place closed for good on October 12, 1998.

A similar fate is shared by other cinemas like the Orfeón, the colossal theatre hosting up to 4628 seats. Originally built in 1938, it re-opened in 1948 after a remodelling into Art Deco style under American architects John y Drew Eberson, the Orfeón was part of the renowned premier theatres, together with the Alameda (destroyed during the ’85 earthquake) the Metropólitan and the Palacio Chino. Remembered for being one of the largest and the long queue lines to get in, the theatre of this cinema was constituted by the lunette, the box, and a gallery that allowed to receive up to 6000 visitors. Today, these three cinemas are occasionally used as event theatres.

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