Sunday, March 9, 2008

Capitol Cinema, Asmara

Capitol Cinema, Asmara, EritreaThe Capitol Cinema in Asmara is a rather brutal building that looks to me more like a prison than a cinema. The most striking feature is the four bands of small windows with thick conrete frames in the upper part of the facade. Smaller versions adorn the the curved corners of the lower level.

It was built as the Cinema Augustus in 1938 by architect Ruppert Saviele towards the end of the Italian colonisation of Asmara. Surprisingly Asmara, is still a very Italian city. Every corner has a cafe or a bar and the favourite pastime is the passeggiata or evening stroll when it seems whole city take to the streets greeting firends and catching up with that day's events. If a little bit of Italy in an African setting sounds like your kind of place, Asmara fits the bill perfectly.

Asmara: Africa's Secret Modernist City~ Edward Denison, Guang Yu Ren & Naigzy Gebremedhim

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