19 Jan Could this be the world’s most beautiful bookstore?
El Ataneo Grand Splendid served as a performing arts theater, then as a cinema. Today, it has been named world’s most beautiful bookstore by National Geographic.
Ateneo Grand Splendid is more than a bookstore. It’s a piece of history which is now breathing new life.
Situated on Santa Fe Avenue in Barrio Norte, the building was designed by architects Peró and Torres Armengo. It originally opened as a theatre under the name Teatro Gran Splendid back in 1919. As a theatre, it hosted such tango legends as Carlos Gardel, Francisco Canaro, Roberto Firpo and Ignacio Corsini. In the late twenties, the theatre was then converted into a cinema, screening some of the first sound films presented in Argentina.
Though some lament the loss of a beloved cinema, it is now thanks to the Grupo Ilhsa that visitors can still revel in this wondrous monument of a bygone era. Having retained its original frescoed ceilings, ornate theatre boxes, elegant round balconies and plush red-stage curtains, this building is definitely one to consider when visiting Argentina on your next event.
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