The photographer Margarete Freudenstadt has dedicated herself to documenting the forgotten and bygone places of cinema. In an exciting dialogue, Cinemas juxtaposes her melancholic pictures of movie theaters in the former East Germany after the fall of the Wall with photos of the opulent but crumbling film palaces of today's Cuba.
In the early 1990s Freudenstadt traveled to eastern Germany to document the remaining movie theaters there, which had a distinctive architecture and style, but eventually succumbed to competition from the modern multiplex. More recently, Freudenstadt traveled to Cuba to document its colorful cinemas, many of which were built during a boom in popularity during the 1950s under American influence. In East Germany, cinemas were auspiciously named "Progress Movie Theater" or "Film Theater Kosmos," while in Cuba they are given names like "Riviera," "Acapulco," or "Florida." In both locales, Freudenstatdt's photos capture what remains of the cinemas' splendor, while presenting striking images of the theaters' contemporary surroundings. This volume unites both photo series for the first time, showing that these sometimes abandoned places still retain the magic of cinema.