For those who love to read, nothing is better than a great bookstore. The selection, the ambiance and even the smell contribute to a wonderful experience as you browse. (Editor's note: The smell is EVERYTHING.) You always have to be on the lookout for new, cool bookstores.
That's right. This is a former theater that was converted into a bookstore. Instead of doing away with the theater aesthetic, they kept it and incorporated it into the venue for a one of a kind experience.
Though it is no longer a theater, it retained many of its elements. The venue kept the art-filled dome ceilings, theater boxes, rounded balconies and stage curtains. You can become so swept up in the decor that you forget you're in a bookstore, then get excited all over again as you remember you are in a bookstore.
Though many were saddened by the loss of the theater, El Ateno was respectful of the history of the space. Besides leaving the architecture mostly untouched, they even include it in the experience. You can sit directly on the stage while enjoying a beverage and live piano music.
So if you ever find yourself in Buenos Aires, go out of your way to spend an hour (or four) in El Ateno Grand Splendid. It's the perfect place to get a literary gift for the book lover in your life. Especially if that book lover is you.