Critic’s Choice: ‘Cines de Cuba’ book has gorgeous, immersive photography

Cine Metropolitan in Havana, from the book "Cines de Cuba" by Carolina Sandretto.
(Carolina Sandretto)
Film Critic

In 1953, well before the revolution, the small island of Cuba had 694 cinemas, with Havana alone having 134, more than either New York or Paris. The gorgeous, immersive “Cines de Cuba” shows what the passage of time has done to them.

Italian photographer Carolina Sandretto went to Cuba three times over four years and ended up photographing more than 300 cinemas with a medium format Hasselblad camera, showing either the ruins they had become or the new uses they had been put to. (Only 19 of the structures were still used as theaters.)

Published by Skira, one of the preeminent art book publishing houses, Sandretto’s photographs are splendid, richly colored affairs, a fine tribute to a world that is no more and a swell gift for the movie lover in your life.