The photographer Margarete Freudenstadt has dedicated herself to cinema and strikingly captured contemporary history with her camera.
Cinemas confronts her melancholic pictures of movie theaters in the former East Germany after the fall of the Wall, with the opulent but crumbling film palaces of today's Cuba in an exciting dialogue.
In East Germany they were auspiciously named “Progress Movie Theater” or “Film Theater Kosmos”, in Cuba “Riviera”, “Acapulco” or “Florida”―movie theaters in which illusions were sold. They experienced a boom on Cuba in the 1950s under US-American influence. Margarete Freudenstadt documents with her camera what has remained of this splendor. In the early 1990s she took the opportunity of recording the movie theaters of Eastern Germany with their architecture and style before they succumbed to modern multiplexes.
This volume unites both photoseries and shows that these sometimes abandoned places still retain the magic of cinema.