1. MOVIE THEATERS. MODERN HERITAGE TO BE RESCUED
The large movie theater is one of the most representative building types of the twentieth century, designed and built all over the world beginning at the end of the First World War and ending in the mid-sixties. Their evolution -- from small salons with architectural solutions derived from the design of theaters to the great cinematic palaces with seating for between 2,500 and 6,000 spectators – speaks of a building type consolidated in the thirties that played an important role in architectural modernity. However, due to the tendency to return to exotic and picturesque elements, the architecture of movie theaters has been largely ignored by the historiography of the modern movement in architecture and often considered an anachronistic or even kitsch expression.Studies dealing with movie theaters as architectural and cultural heritage carried out in countries such as Canada, the United States, Mexico, Cuba, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Argentina, Spain, Germany and the United Kingdom, among others, have shown that this pejorative view was subjective and unfounded.
In spite of research that attempts to recover this forgotten architecture, nothing has been able to stop the process of loss of old movie theaters that began in the 1960’s due mostly to economic reasons, not to a lack of architectural merits of the building themselves. The central location of movie theaters in urban areas in a process of decay, the lack of parking and of security as well as the appearance of new concepts in cinematographic exhibition (such as multiplex theaters) made the original concept of the movie theater obsolete.
For this reason, collective reflection among those interested in the topic or who have done research on movie theaters, is considered relevant within the framework of the international do.co.mo.mo conference in order to exchange methodological research experiences as well as to analyze proposals or specific projects for preservation. The value of the cultural, architectural, urban and affective (for older generations) heritage of the old movie houses in undeniable; the idea of this panel is to put this problem before do.co.mo.mo in order to promote registry, documentation and the possibility of preservation, as well as to establish a network of researchers on the topic.
Ochoa Vega (México)
It is imperative that architectural
magazines be considered the most important documental source for twentieth
century architecture. Architectural magazines are transcendental not only
as a phenomenon of the written press, but also due to their capacity as
a quick means of publicity that grew hand in hand with the modernization
of a society in which technicians and artists needed to immerse themselves
in sources of up-to-date information and knowledge permanently throughout
Patricia MÉNDEZ (Argentina)
LIMITS OF THE URBAN PROJECT
Documentation about the development over time of these urban projects is now becoming available. Archival research is disclosing fascinating data about the residential superblocks and the civic-administrative center, well-publicized features of Brasilia that have not been studied diachronically. At the same time, it is calling attention to features that are seldom talked about but are equally characteristic, such as the University of Brasilia campus. Pertinent issues raised by such research include the way urban projects give shape to and are shaped by modern conceptions of monumentality and domesticity, craftwork and prefabrication, repetitiveness and singularity, foresight and improvisation, mobility and quiet, activity and contemplation, publicness and privacy, the fit between function and form- as well as the way urban projects relate to an unstable, uncertainty-ridden context that limits them and is in turn redefined by them. The Brasilia experiment is worth studying in depth because it corresponds to a particular way of living in the urban modernity of yesterday that is not yet obsolete both in established and emerging economies. Both unique and exemplary, it may even spark discussion on ideas for living in the urban modernity of tomorrow.
Three case studies - the University City, the National Congress and Superblock Living- will be the point of departure of the proposed round table, presented respectively by Andrey Schlee, Danilo Macedo and Francisco Leitão (Brazil).
4.-MODERN MOVEMENT ARCHITECTURE IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
The aim of this round table is to put into perspective the actual status of building identification in Africa, taking into account the register, description and analysis. The idea is to exchange points of view and information, to foster the knowledge of Sub-Saharan Africa, its geography, places and regions, to implement a discussion on the Modern Movement as heritage in this context.
Several researchers, dealing specially with the case of Maputo in Mozambique, will open the debate, but the goal is to reach a deeper and wider discussion. It is fundamental to also have the contribution of researchers who have been working on other cities and countries like South Africa, Ghana, Zambia, Angola, and Kenya.
Finally, the purpose of this meeting is to have a glance at the actual state of identification and the existing documentation, with the intention to go further than description and establish a consideration on modern heritage in this part of the world.