REX Duplex Theatre + Neon Center

A new place to celebrate the city of Havana

Havana Noir


“There are eight million stories in the naked city,” as Jules Dassin famously stated in his 1948 Film Noir police classic about Manhattan. Havana is similarly rich in stories now coming to the fore, commemorating the city’s 500thbirthday. Coffee, rum and colorful ladies smoking big cigars; although still enticing, have given way to a deeper understanding and appreciation for Cuba and her place in history. This is a story about a bygone era, an artistic vision and a cutting edge community historic preservation effort taking hold in Havana.

Havana was once graced by thousands of electric signs on theaters, stores, hotels and nightclubs. Havana was a city of lights that rivaled even Paris in the 1940’s. Neon and incandescent signs bathed the city in light and were emblematic of its urban chic essence. During the early 1960’s, the style fell into disfavor and the neon signs that lit the city’s neighborhoods slowly disappeared or went dark. The commercial implications of the fabulous signage, as well as the maintenance required in the harsh, tropical climate, propelled the signs into decay. The Revolutionary government fostered much loftier goals, such as universial education and healthcare, to focus on such a seemingly esthetic frivolity. Today, Havana is a city with a newly found vigor and energy, quickly reclaiming traditions and breathing new life into the beautiful signs that are the architectural equivalent of the rolling stock of classic 1950’s American cars that ply the city’s streets.
Big picture

We invite you to the Rex Duplex Theatre in Centro Havana.

This historic theater was built in 1938 and expanded in 1949, to become Cuba’s first multiplex venue with two distinct film theaters connected by a grand lobby. The interiors of the theater have been dismantled over the decades and left to abandon. This magnificent space is reopening with the mission of creating a neon production, education and visitors’ center. The project will offer a grand hall and gallery for neon and incandescent lighting and art; neon sign studios and workshops; and a media center keeping with the venue’s orignal function. We are working intently to maintain the historic fabric of the buidling. The center will become Cuba’s premier neon institution and will lead the movement to sustainable outdoor decorative lighting to the city. Another major component to the project is the development of a neon district on Boulevard San Rafael and Galiano Street in Centro Habana.

The Rex Duplex will re-open on April 12, 2019, in participation with the Bienal de La Habana 2019.

MAKE YOUR RESERVATION HERE

For groups of five or more-Hit this button to sign up for a visit!

Our Location

We are located adjacent to the Paque Central & Capitolio area of Havana. We are at Boulevard San Rafael #161, entre Industria y Amistad. Right in the middle of Havana's main visitor destinations. Google Maps Location


Our center is walking distance from the Hotels Kempinski, Parque Central, Telegrafo, Saratoga, and Inglaterra. We are also walking distance from the Prado, Barrio Chino, and the newly restored El Gran Teatro de La Habana and El Capitolio.


You can’t miss the Rex Duplex, with its place of honor on the Boulevard San Rafael, the pedestiran shopping mall that extends from Prado to Galiano, making it one of the most engaging and interesting locations to watch Cuban commerce in the making and every day Cubans in their day to day life. The shopping promenade is undergoing a massive renovation including paving, street furniture, lighting and more. The Rex Duplex anchors the boulevard’s five block stretch, being right in the middle, and will contribute to the full animation of the district.


Our hours are daily from 12 Noon to 10:00 PM (We Close on Wednesdays)

Or by appointment.



Image below: Detail of our showroom with Bienal exhibition by Kadir Lopez.

Big picture

Visitor services we offer by reservation


The RexDuplex has no entry fee and you are most welcome to visit during our normal hours!


We also offer the following services to groups of 5 or more:


-A tour of our facility including exhibitions, shop and other public spaces with a cocktail or other refreshment with discussion. (45 mins)


-A tour of the Neón district on Blvd including Blvd San Rafael and adjacent blocks (60 mins)


-A classic convertible tour of a group of signs throughout Havana with or without dinner (2 hours)


-Event space rental for lunches, dinners, photo shoots, lectures, and other needs. To see more about our facilities please click the reservations link below.


-Cuban art gallery that will provide exhibitions for Cuban artists on a regular basis.


-Gift shop. Here you will find some of the most unique and innovative small gifts to take home. Forget the trinkets and fake paintings. These gifts are all about Cuba and they are unique.


-Occasional shows. Featuring Jazz, Classical Music, Ambient Music, Sound, and Sacred Music. See our Facebook page for updates.


The center has brand new bathrooms and will have air conditioning throughout the enclosed spaces.


Because we are a working shops and studio, for groups of over four we would appreciate it you could make a quick on-line reservation here so that we can expect you and provide a proper presentation to your group. (Over five people)

San Rafael/Galiano Neon District

Blvd. San Rafael between Paseo Marti y Galiano (Ave Italia) , Barrio Chino de La Habana and the Capitolio are the neighborhoods that surrounds us at the Rex Duplex. In these wonderful barrios of Habana we already have ten signs running and have plans to restore approx 15 existing vintage signs in the area. We have the historical photographs of these streets and plan to also re-build a group of signs for public view shown clearly as re-creations. We will maintain, restore, & rebuild this group of signs all in an organized historic sign district.

Bienal de La Habana 13

Kadir Lopez Nieve's official contribution to the 13's Bienal de La Habana is the re ignition of the Boulevard de San Rafael through a concentration of public neon signs on the boulevard and adjacent neon district. In order to do this work the Rex Duplex Theater had to be rescued and it has become the hub for this project. Come visit!
Take a neon tour of Havana in one of our convertibles!
Above, one of our classic car tours rolling in front of the El Megano.

Habana Light Neon + Signs

Habana Light Neon + Signs is a public art practice and historic preservation project by Havana artist Kadir Lopez Nieves in collaboration with Cuban producer Adolfo V. Nodal.

“Alumbrando el Barrio/Lighting up the Neighborhood” is our motto! Havana Light Neon + Signs is an art studio with a neon shop, a dedicated crew and and a focus on restoration of our urban jewels and creating new art as an urban public practice. We are currently restoring the Rex Duplex Theater in Havana to create a center of neon production, exhibition and education in Cuba,

For more information on Havana Light Neon + Signs and our work restoring the historic neon signs of Havana visit us at our facebook page Habana Light Neon + Signs For More information please contact: Kadir Lopez Nieves or

Adolfo V. Nodal habananeon@gmail.com
Big picture