Monumental Cinema by Casto Fernéndez-Shaw | Jorge Gorostiza

Cine Monumental. Dibujo de Casto Fernéndez-Shaw
Monumental Cinema. Sketch by Casto Fernéndez-Shaw

Reviewing the work of the architect Casto Fernández-Shaw, I have found that many issues of his magazine Cortijos y rascacielos are digitized and can be accessed at Memoria de Madrid. In number three of that magazine, published in the winter of 1930, one of his visionary projects was published, in this case the Monumental Cinema, of which only the illustration that is next and the following text is shown in a single page:

«Excess of originality? Vision of the future?

In 1909 Bleriot crosses the English Channel. In 1930 the jump of the Ocean is easily given.

The cinematographer babbles at the beginning of the century. Today he speaks in all languages.

Cities have to transform their structure and adapt it to new needs.

Is it therefore risky to think that in the not too distant future buildings will be built like the one we present to our readers?

The cinematograph floor is octagonal. The machine, placed in the center of the building, projects the film simultaneously in eight screens that give rise to other sectors of the public.

In these screens you will see the film, from the outside, at certain times, to attract passers-by.

Placed the building in the center of a large square will be reached by underground and air. The terrace will serve for the landing of small planes and autogyros, modern air taxis.

The floor of the plaza will be free, because a system of bridge beams will support the forged of the building.

Eight towers, equipped with ramps and elevators, will take the public to the different floors of the building.

This will be able to accommodate 24,000 spectators, none of which will be at a distance from the screen, greater than forty meters

It is interesting to see the hope that there was at the beginning of the thirties about the future of the cinematographic business and its multitudinous projections, parallel to the development of aviation, and also that, in spite of projecting the same film in the eight screens, this building was an antecedent of the multiplexes.

Jorge Gorostiza, PhD architect.
Santa Cruz de Tenerife, august 2018
Author of the blog Arquitectura+Cine+Ciudad

Jorge Gorostiza

Doctor arquitecto, proyecta y construye edificios y desarrolla trabajos de urbanismo. Desde 1990, publica numerosos artículos sobre cine y arquitectura en medios de su localidad, revistas como Nosferatu, Nickleodeon, Academia, Lateral, Cahiers du Cinema… y en varios volúmenes colectivos. Entre el 2000 y el 2005 dirige la Filmoteca Canaria. Imparte conferencias sobre arquitectura y cine en instituciones como el CAAM en Gran Canaria, la UIMP, el CENDEAC en Murcia, INCUNA en Gijón, Fundación Telefónica, la ETS de Arquitectura y el CCCB de Barcelona, las ETS de Arquitectura de La Coruña, Sevilla, Valencia y SEU madrileña, La Ciudad de la Luz en Alicante, la UNED en Pamplona, en varios colegios de arquitectos, así como en las universidades del País Vasco, Gerona, Valladolid, Málaga, Granada, SEK en Segovia y CEES de Madrid. Jurado en varios festivales cinematográficos, como los de Alcalá de Henares (2001), San Sebastián (2002), Sitges (2003), Las Palmas (2005) y Documentamadrid (2005), y comisario de las exposiciones Constructores de quimeras. (Centro Conde Duque, Madrid, 1999) y La arquitectura de los sueños (Capilla del Oidor, Alcalá de Henares, 2001).

He publicado bastantes libros y muchos artículos, he impartido conferencias, he sido comisario de exposiciones y jurado en muchísmos festivales. Si quieren saber más no duden en consultar mi blog ARQUITECTURA + CINE + CIUDAD.

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