Cinelandia the legal battle for a unique monument

Willemstad Travel Blog

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Cinelandia

This morning we started the day relaxed in Punda. Drink a batido, eat a pastechi and buy some fruit at the floating market. I wanted to have a look at a monumental building that, unfortunately, has not had the luck the old buildings in Scharloo had. The former Cinelandia cinema in Pietermaai.

Cinelandia was built during the second world war, 70 years ago, in 1941. It was a designed by the architect Pieter A. van Stuyvenberg. The remarkable thing about Cinelandia is that it is built in the beautiful Art Deco Style. Together with the West End Cinema in Otrobanda (also by Van Stuyvenberg), Cinelandia must have brought distraction in the past. 

Unfortunately both cinemas have been closed.

Cinelandia in happier times (photo: cinematreasures.org)
West End did not make it and was demolished in 2001. But Cinelandia is still amongst us, although in a very bad shape. The metal of the reinforced concrete is visible on the surface and completed rusted. The Art Deco glass is missing and broken on many places, graffiti is also present.

The building was placed on the list of monuments, but strangely also removed from that list. The owners want to raze the structure and probably build some ugly new building. A new lawsuit was pending, and the day before yesterday the verdict was: "more research is needed" a slightly positive outcome for Fundashon Pro Momento, the foundation that tries to preserve this architectonic jewel. I really hope that both Cinelandia as well as the light house on Klein Curacao will get saved, just like the monuments in Scharloo.

More pictures below.

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Cinelandia
Cinelandia
Cinelandia in happier times (photo…
Cinelandia in happier times (phot…
Cinelandia
Cinelandia
Cinelandia
Cinelandia
Cinelandia
Cinelandia
Breedestraat (Punda)
Breedestraat (Punda)
Willemstad
photo by: paodelatorre