Teatro America

Avenida de Galiano 253,
Havana

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Teatro America

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Opened on 29th March 1941, the architects were Fernando Martinez Campos and Pascual de Rojas. It is built within the Edificio Rodriguez Vazquez which is an 11 storey high building, containing ground floor businesses, 64 apartments and includes another pre-existing theatre;the Casa de la Musica located next door.

The auditorium was recently the location for the British singer Will Young’s video ‘Evergreen’

Contributed by Graeme McBain

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 8, 2007 at 9:27 pm

Here is an article and photo. I used Babel Fish to translate the article. Its not perfect but you should be able to read it.

Havana, Cuba The America building, located in the streets Galiano and Neptune and inaugurated the 29 of March of 1941, is one of the most beautiful skyscrapers of Havana. Its style corresponds to the Art Deco, of defined lines, symmetrical and elegant forms, very similar to the buildings Radio City Music Hall and Chrysler, of New York. This building, for surprise of many, is one of the few that are conserved until the moment in good state, although their elevators the greater one of the time do not work and the service of water is deficient. It includes/understands 67 apartments in his twelve floors of high prop, and in low a theater that still its name conserves, with a capacity for 1.800 spectators. At his moment he was one of the highest buildings of the Cuban capital. Like other Havanan theaters, in America not only projected opening films. Also important foreign and national artists appeared there. He happened to comprise of the America of the rich artistic history of Cuba from the day of his inauguration, when he exhibited films North American the sky and you, with Bette Davis and Charles Boyer, and an artistic spectacle in charge of the Mexican singer Pedro Vargas, who offered their art in Cuba for the first time. Throughout almost twenty years of existence never the America theater suspended its daily functions. By their majestic and impressive scene artists of great international reputation like Lamarque Freedom marched past, Olga Guillot, Lola Flowers, Bobby Hood, Alfredo Sadel, Amanda Ledesma, the trio the Panchos, the Chavales of Spain, the Sisters Lake, in addition to orchestras of several countries and companies of dance like the Ballet of the Opera of Paris, the ballet of Alberto Alonso and many others. The being taken part in 1960 by the Cuban government, the America Theater was limited to exhibit replacement films, and the artistic varieties were suspended. Thus it remained during long years, as its interior was deteriorated little by little. At the end of 1991 the restoration of the theater began, and Great Music hall was denominated to him then, indeed what it had been in his years of splendor, and from their restoration infantile groups of song possibly appear in their scene and dances and political acts are celebrated. But the America Theater also keeps between its good decorated walls a very sad history. There, the 3 of September of 1957, died a called adolescent Urselia Diaz Báez, born in Guanabacoa the 21 of February of 1939. It belonged to the groups of action and sabotage (it léase terrorist) of Movement 26 of July. His fiancè, Antonio Briones Montoto, later died years in Venezuela next to other Cuban insurgents who fought against the government of that country. That day of September, 49 years ago, Urselia bought an entrance for the America Theater, it seated in a lens of the bottom, and without thinking about the public composed of children and adults, it extracted of his purse a pump that exploded by accident in its own hands. The function of that one day finished with numerous wounded and hundreds of imprisoned people of panic treating escaping of the building. In the floor, a girl lay dead. It was Urselia. She only had 18 years and desires to continue living, since its intention was not to die. She was the first woman martyr of that clandestine fight, and a heroin in the national press is considered him, died in the fulfillment of his to have like member of that movement led by the present Cuban governor. That was the only day that the beautiful America theater closed its doors before finishing the function.

cubanamerican
cubanamerican on August 12, 2007 at 3:07 am

The America although run down is till a beautiful auditorium. Inside it is a smaller version of Radio City Music Hall, with its vaulted ceilings and side boxes. It is now used as a live performance theater. I used to attend my school’s graduations each year at the America theater in the mid 50’s and also attended many movie shows, most notable Forbidden Planet, Sayonara, etc. the Live performances with great stars of that era were a few years before my time. In the late fifties they only showed films. I visited there after 37 years absence and they showed me around the auditorium. It was kind of dark so I could not see details but from looking at the foyer and public areas it is obvious it needs quite a lot of attention.

guarina
guarina on May 21, 2012 at 11:21 pm

This theater is erroneously positioned on the street map in El Cerro, it was located on Galiano Street between Neptuno and Concordia in downtown Havana.

guarina
guarina on July 30, 2012 at 7:28 am

This movie theater is located at Galiano #253 between Concordia and Neptuno. I remember it was one of the first movie theaters, if not the first, with air conditioning in Havana, they kept their doors to the lobby open and you felt the cool air when you walked by it. I saw “Baby Doll” with Karl Malden there and “A Face in the Crowd” with Andy Griffith.

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