In 1958 Cuba is a Caribbean island living in 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.
Carolina Sandretto is an Italian Photographer. With a back ground in both Not for profit Management and Documentary Photography, Carolina explores themes such as passing of time, memory and abandonment. She works predominately with medium format and large format analogue cameras.
Carolina has a Political sciences degree from University Cattolica in Milano and a MA in Not for profit management. She completed the Documentary Photography Program at ICP New York, in 2013. She published with Skira the book “Cines de Cuba” in 2017 and will publish in 2019 her second book “Cuba. Vivir Con” with Silvana Editoriale.
Her shows include:
“The View from here”, group show, ICP- International Center of Photography, New York City USA, 2013.
“Anthropological landscapes”, with Corinna Groeben and Francesco Iodice at Galleria Antonio Ricci curated by Laura Cherubini in Carrara, Italy 2014.
“Anthropological landscapes”, with Corinna Groeben and Francesco Iodice at Galleria Antonio Ricci curated by Laura Cherubini at Whitebox Gallery, New York City USA, 2015.
“Vivir Con…”, Solo show, Galleria Renata Bianconi 18/09 – 30/10 2015.
Julia Margaret Cameron Award winner 2017.
“Cuba Is!” Annenberg Space for Photography, Los Angeles USA, 2017.
“Festival Del Paesaggio“ Curated by Arianna Rosica and Gianluca Riccio, Capri, 2018.
“Analogue Portrait“at Lucie Foundation during MOPLA, Month of Photography Los Angeles USA, 2019.
“Things Left Behind” Solo Show at DIP Contemporarary Gallery in Lugano Switzerland, April – June 2019.
Her work is present in several private collections and has appeared on different publications and news outlets such as: BOMB Magazine, Flash Art, Atlas Obscura, Vogue Italy, La Stampa, Il Manifesto, Glamour Italy, The Guardian and others.
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