January 18, 2013

Atrium

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The other night we visited a newly reopened cinema-theatre, the Atrium. Somehow the place itself turned out to be much more interesting than the play we saw. :)

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The building was designed by Lajos Kozma and was finished in 1937, a simply wonderful Art Deco or rather Bauhaus building, the first one in Budapest designed specially to house a cinema. The metal structure underneath was something very modern at the time!

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As many buildings in Budapest, it had an interesting history, though after some very eventful years before and after the war, including a stint as a slaughterhouse (!) when Budapest was under siege, it reopened as a cinema again. After it was bombed, a huge sign was put up saying: "People of Buda! Please bring a brick each to rebuild the Atrium! It's your cinema!" :)

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Jump ahead a few decades and see Atrium slowly disintegrate as the years pass... It was closed for a good while, so the renovation process last year took months, but now the cinema-theatre almost looks like it used to in the 30s, a very special space indeed. It houses a theatre now but films are also shown from time to time.

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We saw a Martin McDonagh play, The Lonesome West. Well, I wrote my MA thesis on Hungarian stage productions of McDonagh's Irish plays. I still think he's a genious, and I'm still happy with my choice of a thesis topic, so I just cannot give up watching them. :)

The same director had a previous version of this play on in another Budapest theatre, and actually I'd love to know why he wanted to redirect it again... Personally I thought it was better the first time around. Still, theatre is theatre and good plays are good plays, so it was great to go!

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A few more details from the lobby...

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The black and white are so striking with the orange... It's hard to believe how daring some of the 30s designs were!

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I think these pillars are my favourite, with the interesting light fixtures... And all the mirrors... Wish I could see how the flats looked like above in the 30s! Someone planning on inventing time travel...?

Pictures by Marco, edited by me.
Wearing: thrifted dress you saw in the previous post, Jeans Club jumper, 
Topshop skirt, H&M tights, Laoni bag from Jojó Art Shop, Docs.

15 comments:

Lyddiegal said...

that does look like a really striking space - love the black and white floors!

Feathers & Freckles said...

This place looks so cool! I love the black, white and orange color combo. 

BadTasteToast said...

Okay, so this post here includes theatre, irish literature resp. play, vintage (-inspired) architecture and furniture?! God how cool!!!!!
I'd love to visit the Atrium on my next trip to Budapest! Added to my Buda bucket list haha ;)
Also the history is interesting, I love how they told the people to tell a brick and rebuild this place!

Oh and before I forget it over all the interesting input here:
I'm giving away some nice smartphone cases at the moment. Come and check it out if you like :)http://badtastetoasttoast.blogspot.de/2013/01/fenice-giveaway.html

jess z said...

That is such a pretty building.

Julie Lan said...

the decors is neat, I like the tables and the chairs here, and those light pillars are definitely interesting!

Lora said...

What a cool building! Looks like people are really enjoying the renovation, which I always love to see.

wardrobe experience said...

pretty cool place ... love the orange walls.

Harlow said...

What a wonderful cinema! Where I live all of the glorious old cinemas are being refurbished to look modern and cheap, it's horrible. Of course I trust you Europeans to respect history and glamour, it looks like a wonderful place to go :D

Jamillah said...

what a beautiful theater! with an amaaaazing story. how could that beautiful place have been a slaughter house?!?! and how did that brick situation go? did many people bring bricks? i would love to know. 

Madeline Quaint said...

I have no idea if people brought bricks, but it was restored after the war, so they arrived from somewhere! :)

Madeline Quaint said...

It's certainly much more atmospheric with its history than a cinema without one! :)

Madeline Quaint said...

 Ah, me too! :)

Madeline Quaint said...

Yeah, it's great when new spaces are made use of - especially when it's a theatre or such like. :)

Madeline Quaint said...

 Yeah, they had some daring ideas in the 30s, right?

Madeline Quaint said...

 :)