The rescue of Cine Avenida

There's a new restaurant in downtown that I went to check out last day of the year. It's located on the ground floor of a former theater built in 1947. When I moved to this city during the 80's, I went to this theater a couple of times to watch films. I remember the ocean blue carpet in the lobby. Later the theater was remodeled as a multi cinema with eight theaters. I could hear the sounds from the next theater! Its design failed! Eventually the theater was abandoned.  Because this building was built in the XX century, the INAH, Instituto Nacional de Arquitectura e Historia, National Institute of Architecture and History, couldn't designate a budget to rescue it or even protect it.

Moleskine A4, ink and watercolor.
 
For many years the theater was victim of vandalism and graffiti despite the efforts of the owner to avoid it. Lately, the owner of this building, who is owner of the restaurant as well, listened to the public opinion. The people didn't want it to be demolished to build a hotel or something else. They wanted that this iconic theater to remain part of the history of the city of San Luis Potosi. The nostalgic memories of many citizens and a determined owner made possible the remodeling of this art deco theater. It will return to life as a convention center. A place for weddings and other social events. The lobby, located on the second floor, has a mezzanine and will be the main hall. The manager of the restaurant allowed me to sketch it in the middle of construction. It has been cleaned and painted. The architecture still shows the majestic staircase illuminated by the natural light coming through the impressive windows. The lobby still shows some original décor, part of the theater's maritime theme.
 
Moleskine A4 spread, ink and watercolor.
 
The terraces in the back of the lobby have been removed. Now, that space has been designated as parking lot for the restaurant's costumers. The giant acoustic shell on the ceiling which was used to improve the sound in the theater remains there, this one of a kind architectural element is, I would say, one of the fanciest parking lots in the world!
 
Moleskine A4, ink and watercolor.
An amazing transformation is making everybody happy, the owner finally put the building to good use, citizens kept the romantic building, and the new budget friendly restaurant tastefully decorated, serves very good food. Everybody wins.

I thank the manager Adrian Roa for his kindness, here I'm delivering copies of the sketches.

 

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