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Cuba’s only known Atmospheric style theatre is located in the Havana suburb of Ranch Boyeros, originally opened in 1932 as Teatro Lutgardita.
Designed by architects Evelio Govantes and Felix Cabarrocas, the exterior arched design was a nod to the Paramount Pictures studios in Hollywood.
Notable interior features include the Mayan figures on the columns of the proscenium arch, mimicking stelae – Mayan columns – of Quiriguá in Guatemala. The left side of the auditorium is modeled on the Temple of the Tiger at Chichén Itzá, and the right side styled after the Governor’s Palace at Uxmal.
Above the ramparts of the trompe l’oeil stone walls are rural scenes below a darkened sky. The overall effect could be described as a “Pueblo Deco” style.
The scenery designer Fernando Tarazona collaborated on the interior design. The balustrade along the balcony front, with its turned wooden posts evokes the traditional wooden “rejas” (window security grilles).
After closing as a cinema, Sierra Maestra lay unused for many years. In early 2007 work began on a renovation/restoration project, funded by Ranch Boyeros “twin town” in Spain; Torrejon de Ardoz, and a local Cuba solidarity organization. New seats have been installed which came from a theatre in the Spanish town. The refurbished building houses two art/sculpture galleries and a multi-purpose hall for various community events. The theatre reopened around 2011.
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