Nina Odele AKA Lynne Harpst
100-Year-Old Theater Is Now A Bookstore And It’s Spectacular
When I die, you can just bury me here….
For the girl whose dream in life is to have an exact replica of the “Beauty and the Beast” library in her house, visiting this bookstore would be like letting a kid loose in a candy shop. El Ateneo Grand Splendid lives up to its name by being both grand in size, and splendid in decoration.
Grand Splendid was originally built in Buenos Aires, Argentina as a tango theater back in 1919. In 1929, it was converted into a cinema and then finally into the grand bookstore it is now in 2000.
The architect behind the renovation, Fernando Manzone, aimed to preserve the detailed elegance of the theater, from the ornate balconies to the colorfully frescoed ceiling.
The bookstore covers a sprawling 21,000 square feet, draws in more than a million tourists, and sells about 700,000 books every year. And while most of the titles are printed in Spanish, just marveling at the theater-turned-bookshop is worth a trip.