Palazzo del Cinema

The Cinema Palace which hosts the Venice Film Festival is located on Lido of the lagoon city.
The first festival was held on the terrace of the Hotel Excelsior on August 6, 1932. But with its increasing success it became necessary to build a dedicated center which was done between 1937 and 1938 according to the modernistic design of engineer Luigi Quagliata. Near this construction the Casino was built, designed by head engineer of the Town Council Eugenio Mozzi who also oversaw the planning for the entire area.
The Palace is composed of a simple hall and a cinematographic hall (the Great Hall). As a result of the continued success of the festival, it became necessary to widen the building, which was entrusted to the same Quagliata in 1952. The entire plan included widening the Great Hall, an open arena, other projection halls, as well as offices and services, but only the expansion and the open arena were completed.
Nevertheless, the structure remained insufficient to hold the growing numbers of spectators and, in 1991 on the occasion of the 20th International Festival of Architecture, a competition was held inviting plans for a new Cinema Palace. An announcement outlined the demolition of the old Palace with the exception of the Great Hall. The project was awarded to Spanish architect Rafael Moneo; however, the building was considered too expensive and the Venice Council abandoned the idea.
It was decided to make improvements to the Cinema Palace (1995) and construct temporary structures to accommodate more spectators. Palagalileo (named after the industries that financed its construction) was built on the site of the arena in 1991 as well as PalaBNL, a tension structure similar to the one erected every year on the rugby field in Messina, which was added in 1999. Moreover, since 1999 use of the Casino has been granted.
Due to the necessity for new spaces and the desire to reorganize the entire area, the Biennial Foundation of Venice publicly announced in 2004 a planning competition for a new Cinema Palace and the reorganization of neighboring areas. On May 26, 2005 the Venice Biennial announced the contract was awarded to the Italian firm “5+1” in collaboration with the French architect Rudy Ricciotti.

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