In 1958 Cuba is a Caribbean island in living an economy boom. The proximity and the exchanges with the Unites States take economic growth and vanguards technology to the Island since the late 19th century. Due to this growth many cinemas were constructed in those years. Enormous advertisement with scenes of the major movies were hanging on the streets of Havana and every week the programs of the different theater are distributed in every neighborhood of the city. On the weekend, the cinemas are full people dressed in their best clothes. Everyone also the less fortunate can afford the magic of spending time at the movies
With more than 130 halls only in the great Havana area and a total of 511 on the island, Cuba counts more cinemas in it's capital than New York and Paris. Cuba is the island of the cinemas. Most of these Halls were constructed and managed by American companies such as the 20 Century Fox, Columbia Pictures and Metro Goldwin Meyer and where showing the movies produced in Hollywood and Cinecittà. After the Revolution, the number of halls increased to more than 600 in all the country.
During the past 50 years, these structures, which once where the key for the society around it have been transformed or abandoned. Today only 19 halls are still used as a cinema in all Cuba. Some are now theaters some host local dance groups and the majority are left to a slow and inexorable death.
This is a voyage around the Island during which I documented what are the cinemas now how do they look like outside and inside. These buildings, that where once the gathering of the people, have fallen into the oblivion of their own society.
Maria Carolina Sandretto is an Italian photographer based in New York City. With a background in both non-profit organizations management and documentary photography, Sandretto uses the photographic medium to foster social change. Working primarily with disadvantaged groups in Mexico and Cuba, and on climate change issues, her work seeks to increase awareness and inspire activism.
Carolina graduated from the Catholic University of Milan in Political Sciences in 2006. In 2011, she obtained an MA in Management of the No Profit at Bocconi University, and in 2013 she completed the program in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at ICP- International Center of Photography in New York City. Her work has been exhibited in Italy, Mexico and the US. She has published the book "Cines de Cuba" with Skira and was part of the XVIII EDDIE ADAMS Workshop in 2015.
About This Book:
In 1953, Cuba had 694 cinemas and theaters. Havana alone had 134, more than New York or Paris. In 2014 photographer Carolina Sandretto set out to find and photograph, with a 1950's medium-format camera, the remaining cinemas from that golden era. This book is the visual document of her journey.
Cines de Cuba by Carolina Sandretto
Essays by: Carlos Garaicoa, Grettel Jimenez-Singer and Carolina Sandretto
Publisher: Skira, 2017