January 18, 2013



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. :)


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!


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!" :)


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.


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!


A few more details from the lobby...


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


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.


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...