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Going out with a Grand Splendid bang

Most famous buildings are best known for their exterior. I’ve never, for instance, seen a photo inside the Taj Mahal.

This may be one reason some visitors to Buenos Aires never go to El Ateneo Grand Splendid bookshop. I hadn’t heard of it before my first trip to Argentina. My friend Paula took me there as a way to fill in a bit of time between her Pilates class and dinner.

When I’m in Australia, I don’t miss seeing this:

argentina grand splendid outside

But I always want to go back inside:

argentina grand splendid inside 1

This used to be the Grand Splendid Theatre. An actor friend of Paula told me that after it closed, he was worried it’d get pulled down. Instead, the El Ateneo chain of bookshops made it their flagship store.

argentina grand splendid inside 4

argentina grand splendid inside 3

There’s a theory that bookshops are on the way out. I’m not convinced, but if they are, they’re departing with a considerable bang in Buenos Aires.

You can take any book off the shelf and read it on the old stage, which is now a café. I do writing there.

Other people sit in the boxes.

argentina grand splendid inside 5

One thought on “Going out with a Grand Splendid bang

  • Kathy W March 20, 2016 at 3:16 pm Reply

    Love it

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Michael from Perth

A unique view of the strange and spectacular world through the eyes of Michael from Perth