Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Avenida São João became São Paulo's Broadway (or 42nd Street) with lots of cinemas on its course. It reigned supreme as the fashionable main drag from the 1930s up to the mid 1960s when decay started settling in with the imposition of a brutal military dictatorship that took hold of Brazil until the mid 1980s when everything that could go wrong did go wrong.  

glorious Avenida São João seen from the top of State of São Paulo Bank in 1950, when Banco do Brasil building was still under construction.
Avenida São João in the 1950s. See the trams going up the avenue westward?
same place a couple of years later (late 1950s).
night life at Avenida São João in the 1950s.
 late 1960s.

Av. S.Joao right-hand side going towards Lapa; Hotel Central and Hotel Britannia in 1953.
exactly same place at night.
Avenida São João seen from the opposite side looking East. On the left-hand side one can see Cine Broadway. The tram goes to Avenida Angelica.
an earlier shot o the same place taken by U.S. Life magazine.

12 August 1966 - the last day trams rode in São Paulo.
This is an even earlier photo. See Cine UFA on the right? That was a German movie house that was 'discontinued' when Brazil entered WWII in 1942 on the side of the North-americans. This photo must have been taken circa 1940.

Avenida São João in glorious colours... trams and busses were red & yellow... Here's looking eastward with Largo do Paissundú on the left and Rua Conselheiro Crispiniano on the right-hand-side.
Avenida São João further down. On the right one can see Cine Metro which was showing 1938's 'Boys Town' with Spencer Tracy and Mickey Rooney. This must be 1939 or 1940.
Cine Metro on the right and First City National Bank on the left circa 1961.
Avenida São João in the mid-1970s. One can not but notice VW's beetles (and a VW kombi on the left-hand side) were the majority of cars on the street. The bus is a Mercedes-Benz made. Note Cine Saci on the right-hand side, was a popular cinema that catered especially for the unemployed. One could get in to watch a flick in the morning and stay until past lunch time.
As the tram-car rails are still on the street-bed this could be 1964...

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