New Exhibition Shows Parallels between Tel Aviv and Mumbai

Visitors entering the Hotel Cinema in Tel Aviv’s Dizengoff Square will immediately be transported back in time when it was still a cinema and not a hotel.

As a matter of fact, in the 1930s, the first films were shown in the former Esther Cinema in Tel Aviv. Anyone who enters the place will be able to see the former cinematic art.

However, they will also be able to witness the Bauhaus architecture, which is still a significant part of the center today in Tel Aviv.

In fact, it has been granted the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site by the name The White City since 2003.


Initially, it might come off as a surprise that the entrance of the Eros Cinema in Mumbai, India, which is about 4,000 kilometers away, is quite similar to the lobby of Tel Aviv’s former Esther Cinema.

However, the simple and round design seen in the entrance and the same materials used indicate that the same style influenced the architects of both.

The Bauhaus Center’s gallery currently has an exhibition, which contrasts the similarity between the Art Deco architecture in the Eros Cinema in Mumbai and the Bauhaus architecture in the former Esther Cinema in Tel Aviv.

There are a total of 16 exhibits that are aimed at comparing the architecture found in the two cinemas.

Joint exhibition

The founder of Bauhaus Center and the curator of the current exhibition, Micha Gross, had previously planned on showing a permanent exhibition on the Bauhaus architecture in Tel Aviv.

The exhibition had already had a showing in the Netherlands, Italy and Germany, amongst other countries. In fact, the Israeli Consulate in Mumbai had also issued an invitation, so it had also happened in India.

When news of the planned exhibition reached the Art Deco Mumbai Foundation, it got in touch with Gross and directed his attention towards the similarities in architecture between the two cities.

This resulted in the idea of a joint exhibition. Gross shared pictures of The White City, including the windows and front doors, balconies of the Bauhaus style and the entrance areas, with the Art Deco Foundation.

The Foundation in Mumbai then began to look for their counterparts.

The results

Even Gross was taken by surprise due to the results. He said that they were aware that India had been a part of the British Empire.

But, he said that when they had shared photos, they did not really know what to expect. The Art Deco and Victorian Ensemble of Mumbai also became a World Heritage Site in 2018.

The Indian Style, or Art Deco, is partly different due to its decorations and embellishments. As for the international or Bauhaus style, steers clear of ornamentation and flourishes.

In 1933, the Nazis had seized power in Germany, which drove a number of European architects to Tel Aviv. Their style had been influenced by the Bauhaus school in Germany.

The population of Tel Aviv had increased exponentially, which meant that new housing was required and this resulted in the huge number of Bauhaus-style buildings that exist today.

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