between 2010-13 Sabine Haubitz + Stefanie Zoche photographed old movie theatres in South India. you can understand the significance of the cinema experience in a country that is the world’s largest producer of films. no wonder the buildings dedicated to them are so rich & beautiful.

The photos of these buildings give eloquent testimony to the rich cinematic culture of those times. We are particularly interested in the culturally influenced reinterpretation of modern building style apparent in the architectural style, which displays an unusual mixture of Modernism, local architectural elements, a strong use of colour and, in the case of some older cinema halls, of Art Deco.

Many movie theatres in South India are left in their original state. Nonetheless, remodelling into multiplex cinemas is already underway, in particular in major cities, and will result in these buildings’ disappearance as witnesses to their times. The photographs document a part of cinema culture that has already largely vanished in Europe and the USA, and is increasingly being supplanted by commercial interests and technical developments in India, as well.

simply too good not to share – thanks designboom.

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  1. How stunning are these! I am a film junkie living out in LA…think I need to make a trip to southern India ASAP.

  2. Lovely buildings! A great reminder that going to the movies was an event, a special night out. You are right — too good not to share!

  3. This is the apex of my nerd-dom: cinema, typologies, photography. Great project!

  4. This is such a beautiful and interesting post. Fun to think of a time when cinema had the same force in the States.

  5. Holy amazing – I love Indian visual culture, so beautiful to see it extend even into their theaters, wow!

  6. Gabrielle Adams Reply

    I love art deco buildings but I’ve never seen them painted so colourfully. I live in a small country town in Australia which was established in the 1920s for timber milling. But the only art deco building is the hotel!

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