The actual building was once a theatre called The Grand Splendid Theatre and was inaugurated in 1919. At the time, it was considered one of the symbols of Buenos Aires culture. The opera, ballet and the first argentinian "talkies" took place in this amazing stage.
In the year 2000, the theatre was transformed into a book and music shop; the cinema seating was removed and in its place book shelves were installed. Many architectural details of the theatre still remain, such as the theatre boxes (where you can read the books literally for hours without being bothered before purchase), the stage and its curtains, the ornaments on the ceiling and walls and the auditorium lighting.
The stage of the theatre is now used as a cafe so you can go there and take your time reading your favourite novel and enjoy it with a nice cup of tea and biscuits.
In 2008 Britain`s The Guardian, named El Ateneo as the 2nd most beautiful bookstore in the world. It´s the kind of place you could spend hours wandering and browsing through thousands of titles.
Hope you enjoyed the pics!