In the early days of motion pictures of the 1920s and 30s, going to the movies was a glamorous affair. Opulent movie theaters sprang up in major cities around the world during the period with colorful carpeting, ornate ceilings and gilded chandeliers. When the lights dimmed, heavy velvet curtains dramatically opened on cue, while patrons were kindly reminded to remove their hats.
This awards season, get a behind-the-scenes look at Starbucks® stores that pay tribute to the theater and the golden age of cinema.
Hollywood & Vine, Los Angeles
The Hollywood Walk of Fame runs for a little over a mile down a stretch of Hollywood Boulevard from east to west and along Vine Street from north to south. More than 10 million tourists come to the corner of Hollywood & Vine each year, stopping to see nearby stars such as Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart. The Starbucks store on this famous corner honors Hollywood’s history with its design. Marquee letters that spell “H&V” mark the location’s spot at the epicenter of Hollywood, while red velvet curtains drape the windows just as they once did for the cinema. Banquette seating conveys a lounge vibe.
The LEED® certified store was also designed with sustainability in mind, with abundant natural light exposed structural elements. Floor-to-ceiling windows connect customers to the buzz of Hollywood outside, and reflect the city’s neon glow into the evening.
Cinelandia, Rio de Janeiro
Starbucks store at downtown Rio de Janeiro’s Cinelandia Square is located at the site of the city’s historic Cine Odeon theater, which first opened as a movie theater in 1926 and is now a cultural and performing arts center.
The design embraced the location’s history, style and significance by using existing elements like native mahogany wainscots, original doors and windows as well as decorative architectural details. Graphic patterns, rich textures and elegant lines evoke the experiences of 1920s Rio de Janeiro.
Gran Rex Theater, Buenos Aires
When the Gran Rex opened its doors in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1937, it was the largest movie theater in South America. It was a crown jewel in the center of the capital city, and at the heart of the region’s entertainment and culture. Over the decades, Gran Rex has been the birthplace of the great musical performances and attracted acclaimed international artists.
The Starbucks store at Gran Rex takes its cues from the art deco style of its heydey. Its warm and airy design in brown and green tones is complemented with glamorous brass elements from the period, and creates an atmosphere ideal place to enjoy an excellent cup of coffee either before or after a show.
St. Catherine Street & Lambert Closse, Montreal
In Montreal, Canada, the Starbucks store at St. Catherine & Lambert Closse occupies the spot of the former Seville Theatre, a 1,000-seat movie venue that opened in 1929. The design team was inspired both by the location’s dramatic origins and a desire to create a sense of “coffee theater” for its customers. Soft seats welcome customers and invite conversation. Green velvet curtains frame the coffee bar area and bring it center stage, while theatrical spotlights shine from above.