In recent years, the images shot by the Cologne-based architectural photographers Hugo (1879-1938) and Karl Hugo Schmölz (1917-1986) have been winning wide acclaim and are getting more and more attention. After completing his photography training and working in various positions, Hugo Schmölz set himself up as an architectural photographer in Cologne in 1911. Later, his son Karl Hugo took over the company. While the work of the two photographers fell into oblivion over the years, it is being rediscovered today and reveals its breathtaking esthetic originality and technical perfection. Due to the development of a special, additional exposure technique, Schmölz was able to capture dark interiors in astounding detail even at the beginning of the century and to create dazzlingly elegant pictures which have lost none of their expressive power.
For the first time ever, the book presents a series of photos, taken mostly in the Rhineland and the Ruhr district between 1935 and 1957, together with pictures showing movie theaters which were brand new at the time. Most of these cinema auditoriums have since been destroyed, but the light in the photos gives them a three-dimensionality that evokes a striking sculptural effect. They are certainly not imbued with nostalgia, on the contrary, they appear to be strangely lost in time and, owing to their extremely delicate gray nuances, seem almost hyperreal.