This 100-Year-Old Theater Is Now A Bookstore, And It’s Absolutely Stunning

If your idea of the perfect getaway is one spent reading in a cozy place, well, make sure you put Buenos Aires on your bucket list.

There, you’ll find an old Argentinian theater that’s been transformed into the perfect bookstore. The building dates back to 1919 when it used to host operas, ballets, movie screenings and more.

It was a local movie theater for some time. But in 2000, an architect and a publishing company teamed up to transform it into a book-lover’s paradise. Here’s an image of the front, from @yenny_elateneo, the Instagram account for the El Ateneo chain of bookstores.

The dim lighting, the box seats and other elements that make this place feel like an old theater are still intact. But now, those box seats are reading nooks. So you could stay here for hours immersing yourself in history, getting lost in a book and soaking in some culture.

Check out the stunning interiors captured in this Instagram from Felicia Morales. Don’t you just want to spend all day here? And maybe some of the night, too?

The beautiful shot of the bookstore, shared on Instagram by GoPro Argentina, shows what an expansive space it is. Wow, how gorgeous is that?

The location is now known as El Ateneo Grand Splendid, and splendid it is, indeed. It seems like a truly magical place to visit, and, according to some reviews on Trip Advisor, it most definitely is.

“If you love books this unique store is a must. The old theatre is for many years such an impressive bookstore that many visitors come to see the set up,” one traveler wrote.

Another pointed out that the theater has a section of books in English for those traveling from abroad.


You can feel free to eat lunch while you’re in the store too. The former stage has been turned into a café. So, if you weren’t already convinced this was a bookworm’s dream destination, you should be now.

Sipping coffee while thumbing through books in a historic theater? That’s not a bad way to spend a quiet morning or a leisurely afternoon, is it? Instagram user @flytofiction definitely seems to think so!

According to Frommer’s, the best time to visit Buenos Aires, weather-wise, is between March and May and again in September through November. So start planning your trip!

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Ready to visit another book lover’s dream? How about the library of Admont Abbey in Austria. It holds 70,000 books and can be visited without a guide. Talk about a beautiful place to read!

Admont Abbey

If you love books as much as we do, maybe you’ll want to add these places to your bucket list!

[h/t: Insider]