Sunday, July 5, 2009

Unique El Ateneo Bookstore

El Ateno Grand Splendid, a Unique Bookstore in the Avenida Santa Fe in Barrio Norte in Buenos Aires, Argentina
What's so unique about the El Ateneo bookstore in Avenida Santa Fe in Buenos Aires? It is so distinctive because of the interior of the building the store resides in. The magnificent building was conceived as a theater in the first place. Back in 1919, the Grand Splendid Theater was inaugurated and had been a place of activity for only a few years. In 1929 the theater was converted into a cinema which existed for more than 80 years. In the late 1990s the building once more was converted into the exceptional bookstore you see in the picture.

16 comments:

Rob said...

Oh wow! This is utterly amazing! What a great shot!

Jacob said...

Well, I've never seen a bookstore like this one! Magnifique! I would spends hours browsing here. What a wonderful setting. Great photo, too!

VEB wortfeile said...

It would not surprise me if you find music CDs in the orchestra pit and DVDs backstage. The bookstore looks as if it offers a well-assorted variety of books. Theaters and Literature are a perfect match.

Clueless in Boston said...

Beautiful bookstore. Who wouldn't want to wander the stacks in such a gorgeous building.

DelBoy said...

Great shot, great lighting. Would make a fantastic HDR shot!

Per Stromsjo said...

I'm one of those who find absolutely no pleasure in shopping. Maybe it's because I never find shops like this. Spectacular! Thanks for sharing a bit of history as well.

Abe Lincoln said...

That is the nicest bookstore I have ever seen. Wow. I am impressed.

RogerB said...

Converted to a beautiful bookstore - I think the Grand Splendid Theater would approve. Great shot!

Hilda said...

I thought it looked like a theater! Absolutely fantastic! My husband and I love books and bookstores and this is probably the most gorgeous one I have ever seen!

Anonymous said...

what an amazing blog i found here. im in love with buenos aires.

Prospero said...

This must certainly be one of the most original bookstores anywhere. Incredible.

AB said...

What a genius of an idea!

JM said...

WOW! This is absolutely fantastic! What a place! Wonderful photo too!

Gunn White said...

Just SUPERB, both the bookstore and the photo!
I could have spent days there.
Do they have a coffee bar as well?

Buenos Aires Photoblog said...

@Gunn White
Yes indeed. They have converted the former stage into a lovely café with a bar and a piano man.

Anonymous said...

El Ateneo is simply a gem. I remember going there when it was "El Gran Splendid" movie theater (back in the 80s). Today this bookstore not only sells books but also music CDs. Books in many different languages can be found here. It is a huge store. There is a coffee bar located on what used to be the stage. From that viewpoint, one can see the whole bookstore. It is amazing. The theater's "boxes" are still that, but one can simply sit there and read for hours on end. If you visit Buenos Aires, this is a must do. Located on Avenida Santa Fe, it is quite easy to locate.