Friday, August 14, 2009

Hotel Capri then and now

A 1950s-era rendition of the Capri Hotel. Credit: Cartoline Cuba

In the Godfather, Part II, Michael Corleone stays at Havana's Capri Hotel. Scenes portraying the Capri were actually shot at El Embajador Hotel in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, according to the Internet Movie Database or IMDB. One striking scene was shot on a terrace or rooftop. Buildings could be seen below and the turquoise-blue sea was off in the distance.

A Hotel Capri luggage label from 1950. Credit: International Poster Gallery

In the same movie, the mobsters give a golden telephone to Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista. That actually happened, IMDB says.

Batista's gold-plated telephone was later put on display at Havana's Museum of the Revolution, the former presidential palace, IMDB says.

The phone wasn't made of solid gold, IMDB says, but "the replica made for the movie looks pretty much like the original."

Here's what the rooftop of the Capri Hotel looks like now. The hotel has been closed since 2004 and is being renovated. If you click photo to enlarge, you can see they've still got a lot of work to do.

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