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.

 

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© Deensel

 

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.

 

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© Deensel

 

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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© Niels Mickers

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