Calle Gran Via 37,
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Built in 1927-28, and designed by architect Jose Miguel de la Quadra Salcedo, the theatre opened as a live theatre on 29th February 1928 with a spectacular revue show “Frivolidades y varietes nacional y extrajera”. The Teatro Avenida had a grand Neo-Classic style. Its first film presentation was on 29th September 1928 when Janet Gaynor in “"El angel de la calle” (Street Angel) was screened. Converted to full time movies in the early-1940’s, it hosted National and International Premieres of important films.
The theatre later became a showcase of 70mm films and it is unfortunately during this time in the late-1960’s that the splendours of the original auditorium decoration was stripped away to leave a very plain, bland space to see a film. The only hint of decoration was a new frieze over the proscenium opening which had painted figures representing dancers and actors.
The facade is legally protected, and so is the grand lobby with its Italian marble, mirrored ceiling, chandeliers and grand stairs. In 1998 a second 650-seat screen was created in the former balcony.
In January 2007, it was reported that Madrid’s City Council authorized conversion into a shopping mall. C&A was interested in turning into one of their clothing stores, but decided against it for architectural reasons. The theatre’s operators asserted there were too few people in attendence, but would keep it open for ‘one, two or three years’ (unless a better offer came along sooner). The Solar family owns the Cine Avenida and the adjacent Palacio de la Musica. It has been stated that because of the existence of the Calle De Abada between the two theatres, there is no room to expand the stage-houses to host live performances, such as was done with the Coliseum and the Lope De Vega theatre’s. The Cines Avenida, for decades one of the flagship movie palaces of the Gran Via, closed in June, 2007, to become a H&M clothing store.
News articles and editorials regretted the closing of so many Gran Via cinema showplaces. In four years since 2004 nine of the thirteen cinemas on the street have closed, the Cine Avenida closure makes ten. It was noted that “Premonition” was one of the two films playing in the Cine Avenida when it closed.
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