Then & Now – Casa de las Academias – Casa de Lilís
Casa de las Academias also known as Casa de Lilís is a unique building with a beautiful French-style balcony. It was at one time the home of President Ulises Heureaux, then the Oficinas de la Aduanas (Customs offices) and now the Casa de las Academias.
These pictures are from 1917 and, 100 years later, in 2017.
This was the home of Ulises Hilarión Heureaux Lebert and family. His nickname was Lilís. Heureaux was president of the Dominican Republic from 1 September 1882 to 1 September 1884, from 6 January to 27 February 1887 and again from 30 April 1889 maintaining power between his terms until his assassination by Ramon Caceres. (Wikipedia- Ulises Heureaux)
The building, located on Calle Las Mercedes, is now home to the Casa de las Academias is known as the Seat of the Academies of History, Language and Sciences/ Sede de las Academias de Historia, de la Lengua y de la Ciencias.
The once splendid Cinema Leonor, subsequently called Multicine Colonial, was one of the many theaters in the Colonial Zone area. This theatre, at one time showing all the popular films of the time, later turned into a parking garage and now lies abandoned.
The Cine Leonor, with its classic Baroque-style facade, inaugurated on August 16, 1956. This first-class cinema had a grand second-floor arcade, large balcony and private seating stalls with retractable seats plus a special area for smokers. The theater was air-conditioned and had a large entrance hall and ticket office.
Leonor was a large cinema for its time and held sizable crowds that wanted to come, escape ordinary life, to enjoy a popular movie. During the theater’s heyday there was a Sunday matinee plus their usual schedule showing 2 movies every evening.
The new Colonial Cinema was inaugurated on December 25, 1980. Along with the name change, the theater was split into 4 smaller rooms, 2 on the ground floor and 2 on the second floor.
The cinema closed in the early 1990s. Now the building is in ruins. They have abandoned the once splendid movie theater turned parking garage. You can still see the name Leonor on the floor tiles at the entrance of the building. Looking inside, it is dark and dismal. I can’t imagine that this derelict building was previously a high-class theater.
– Calle Arzobispo Noel at 19 de Marzo, Ciudad Colonial, Santo Domingo.