Cinema Impero

Harnet Avenue, 176-21 Street,

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Additional Info

Architects: Mario Messina

Functions: Movies

Styles: Streamline Moderne

Nearby Theaters

Cinema Impero

This stunning example of Art Moderne architecture opened in 1938. Its soaring facade has been a landmark of downtown Asmara since it was built by the colonial Italian Fascist regime, who rebuilt the sleepy little town from the late 19th century until the 1940’s into the administrative center of their Eritea colony in various styles, from Romanesque to Moderne, many which still survive today, like the large Cinema Impero.

The theater is still open, showing mostly American and European movies, long after their original runs, although no longer on film. The images are projected from DVD these days.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

blausche on December 14, 2005 at 2:23 pm

I went to this Cinema when I was in the Army and station in Africa. It brings back alot of memories. When I was there it would coast more to sit in the balcony then the main floor. There were two theater in town that where built alike. If this was in the down town district then they showed Italian films at that time. The other theatre played old American films. They had intermissions in all their films. Even the ones that where 2 hours or less. If there is any more info on this theatre, please post.

blausche on February 5, 2006 at 2:28 pm

Bryan have you been to this theater. I was in the 60’s. Let me know when you where there

dickneeds111 on March 30, 2012 at 9:38 pm

While in the Navy and visiting places like Hong Kong and the Mediterranean areas from 1963-1964 if a theatre had a balcony it always cost more to sit there so I wasn’t surprised like above was. It is a surprise to all Americana and Canadians the 1sat time this happens to them.

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