Revisit Havana, the “Paris of the Caribbean,” in the 1930s

This short film show­ing Havana in the 1930s was shot by André de la Varre, the long-time cam­era­man and cin­e­matog­ra­ph­er for Amer­i­can trav­el­er, pho­tog­ra­ph­er and film­mak­er Bur­ton Holmes. In those days, Havana was a flour­ish­ing and fash­ion­able city dubbed the “Paris of the Caribbean,” attract­ing an ever increas­ing num­ber of tourists. André de la Var­re’s film por­trays Havana as the “exot­ic cap­i­tal of appeal,” which pret­ty much sums up its essence dur­ing those days.

Bonus mate­r­i­al: A list of all the sights shown in this film can be found here; anoth­er short film about Havana in the 1950s hereThis video from late 2008 gives an idea of the sor­ry state of Havana’s city cen­ter today. And don’t foget to mar­vel at the won­der­ful col­lec­tion of vin­tage trav­el films at The Trav­el Film Archive.

By pro­fes­sion, Matthias Rasch­er teach­es Eng­lish and His­to­ry at a High School in north­ern Bavaria, Ger­many. In his free time he scours the web for good links and posts the best finds on Twit­ter.

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