The Cinéac movie theatres of Adrienne Gorska and Pierre de Montaut: to adapt a “type”

María Pura Moreno


From the 1930’s on, a variant in the western architecture of movie theatres built in previous decades came to light. This variant, smaller and more unassuming in its decoration and size, was the result of another economic context and, above all, of a novel programming of newscasts and documentaries in short sessions and continuous slideshows called, depending on the country of your projection, ‘newsreels’, ‘cinegiornali’, ‘actualités filmées’, or ‘wochenschauen’. The establishment of the chain of movie theatres ‘Cinéac -cinéma et actualités’ in French-speaking countries, mainly by the entrepreneur Reginald Ford, gave rise to the proposal of spatial and technical answers to the demands of aspects such as acoustics, optics, a continuous flow of people, safety or ventilation, from the sector of architecture which was most functionalist. In this article the Cinéac built by the architects Adrienne Gorska and Pierre de Montaut, pioneers in projects for this program of leisure, will be analysed. The aim is to demonstrate the technical rigor on which constructiveness, as the leitmotiv of longed for perception, was based. The critical re-reading of layouts and sections will reveal that, behind the prominence of bright facades, there were hidden spatial criteria different from those of the previous cinemas, leading to, as a whole, what was to be a typological adaptation to a function that had already been established


Adrienne Gorska; Pierre de Montaut; Cinéac; architecture; publicity

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