Poços de Caldas, the luxurious Queen of the Waters, drew tourists from all over the country with its thermal waters and gambling houses. The city, always brimming with glamour, was the setting for the grandiose Palace Casino.
Idealized by Eduardo Pederneiras with an extraordinary garden design project, the city’s greatest and newest casino was part of an architectural complex that also included the Thermas and the Palace Hotel. The construction was requested by the Minas Gerais state government as an attempt to turn the city into the most comprehensive and lavish bathing resort complex of the Americas.
Inaugurated in 1931, Palace Casino’s patrons were mostly upper-class. Its rare beauty and the richly detailed design of its superior game and ball rooms, as well as its theater, its solarium, and its terrace reserved for the ladies’ afternoon tea, made it the elite’s ultimate entertainment center, attracting prestigious visitors from various places.
Cine Teatro was also the stage for great artists and great performances that enlivened the hectic nights at the casino even more. Carmen Miranda, Aurora Miranda, Sylvio Caldas, Dercy Gonçalves, Orlando Silva and Mexican singer Chelo Flores are a just few of the notable stars to grace the city.
However, the busy nights at Palace came to an end in 1946, when casino games were strictly prohibited in Brazil. As a result, the casino was shut down entirely. The building remained closed for several years, and, when it was eventually reopened, the disorderly occupation to which it was subjected severely compromised its preservation.
Later on, Palace would close its doors again. This time, though, it was to undergo a renovation worthy of its historical significance. The place was restored into a center for stunning artistic performances, as well as cultural and social events, and was acknowledged as a distinctive historic and architectural landmark of the city of Poços de Caldas and the state of Minas Gerais.