The Conrado Benítez Cinema of Sancti Spiritus

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The Conrado Bennítez Cinema is located across from the Serafín Sánchez Park. (Photo: gettyimages).

The building that shelters the Conrado Benitez Cinema of Sancti Spiritus was initially constructed to be a family house.

According to local archives, the facility was registered in 1893 by Francisca Cepeda Martínez, who had inherited it from Tomasa María de Cepeda Almanza. Two years later, Francisca sold the house to José del Espíritu Santo Antúnez and Berdeces, who died in 1898, thus leaving it to his three children.

The property was owned afterwards by different people until local architect Alberto Luis Mendigutía Silvera obtained permission to demolish it in 1926. He then constructed a modern three-level eclectic building that one year later became the headquarters of the luxury Renacimiento Theater, which also included a cinema. The first two levels of the building were used for cultural events, while offices were on the third.

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Teatro Renacimiento (Renacimiento Theater).

The edifice was entered in the Land Registry in 1931 by the Mendigutía and García Collective Civil Partnership, which was integrated, among others, by Alberto Luis and Pepe Trelles. The business was dissolved in 1943, and the architect bought the theater, which was mortgaged on several occasions.

On December 23, 1958, after the liberation of Sancti Spíritus by the Rebel Army, local residents assaulted the building and destroyed its interior decoration, due to the connection of the Mendigutía family with the Fulgencio Batista government. But Commander Armando Acosta Cordero, who led the troops that occupied the city, called on the people to avoid such actions.

After the facility became a property of the State in 1960, it was repaired and returned to provide services as cinema, until today.







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