Giunti Odeon: A New Space, a New Story

The 100-year-old Odeon Cinema embarks on a new path a century after its original opening. The Giunti publishing house now collaborates with  the Germani family, who had managed the cinema since 1936, including negotiations with the city council with a project to reimagine the movie theater into a cultural center. After months of planning involving the city administration and Giunti the doors opened on November 4, 2023, and the newly developed space was revealed to the public.  Sergio Giunti, Mayor Dario Nardella and Regional President Eugenio Giani inaugurated Giunti Odeon.

Developers envisioned a multicultural center with art exhibitions, films, concerts, book presentations, activities for children and, of course, food. The art deco masterpiece, restored with elegance and quality workmanship, now features new lighting illuminating the decorative columns and reinstated fountains. The former ground floor cinema hall now serves as a bookstore containing 680 square meters filled with books with a vast variety of titles. The majority of books are in Italian with sections dedicated to English and other language books. 

The revamped cinema space now hosts two screens.  A large LED screen shows entertainment, news and special features in Italian and English all day. With the goal of attracting students and young people, the daytime area is equipped with workstations for laptops and tablets. An additional screen, hidden in daytime but rolled down at 9 pm nightly, presents films in the original language with Italian subtitles. This cinema space, reduced from 557 gold velvet chairs to 198, continues to be managed by the same Odeon team, who are committed to offering a program of high quality current films, documentaries and restored versions of classic movies.

In the 1960s Giunti Editore began publishing facsimiles of Leonardo da Vinci’s manuscripts, drawings and codices. Today the first floor houses a special exhibition dedicated to the Tuscan genius Leonardo. 

Some coming features include “Comandante,” a film directed by Eduardo De Angelis, an Italian WWII drama which opened this year’s Venice Film Festival (through November 11, 9 pm).  Next the classic Coen Brothers cult film, “The Big Lebowski” screens with a cast of Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore and Steve Buscemi. (November 13 – 14, 9 pm). “A Haunting in Venice”, a mystery based on the Agatha Christie book, starring and directed by Kenneth Branaugh, will show on one night, November 20.  Ridley Scott’s “Napoleon” begins on November 23 with numerous showings. All will screen in the original language with Italian subtitles.

The original snack bar space now hosts a café with a new menu curated by Tina Ferragamo. It features pastry, fine coffees, creative food and wine and cocktails. The internationally inspired menu includes brunch classics Eggs Benedict, pancakes and avocado toast.  Throughout the day patrons can indulge in French cheeses, Spanish ham, fish and chips, Moroccan inspired dishes or American bacon cheeseburgers. Not overlooking Italian cuisine, diners can enjoy rigatoni with Chianti cinta pork ragù or spaghetti con vongole (clams).

The Giunti Odeon invites the public to come enjoy the newly redesigned center with its various offerings. The center will be open from 8:30 am daily.  (Rita Kungel)

For more information, visit the website.