Decades before multiplexes and streaming, movie theaters played an even more vital role as third places and community gathering spots. A new project by the Goethe Institut Angola recognizes the importance these buildings play in the large cultural landscape, and seeks to archive unique movie houses and architectural heritage of this African country and the continent. For more context, a book by photographer Walter Fernandes and Miguel Hurst, former director of the Angolan Institute of Cinema, Angola Cinemas: A Fiction of Freedom, documents these Angolan theaters, such as the Cine Flamingo and Cine Baia, both the work of Portuguese-born architect Francisco Castro Rodrigues, who developed a series of open-air cinemas.
The dozens of theaters built in Angola built from the '30s and the '70s are currently in different states of operation and disrepair. The Cine-Teatro Restauração, for example, currently houses the National Assembly, while others sit dilapidated and some are still in use. Currently, the Goethe Insitut's site for this project offers information about 33 different buildings in Angola, but the list of additional countries suggests a slate of coming attractions for architecture fans.
∙ The unique and distinctive architectural style of Angola's cinemas [Design Indaba]
∙ Reimagining the Futures of Forsaken Johannesburg Towers [Curbed]
∙ What It Takes to Restore a 1929 Brooklyn 'Wonder Theater' [Curbed]
∙ Watch This Dilapidated House Transform Into a Theater [Curbed]