Calle de Fuencarral 118,
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The Cinema Bilboa is near Madrid’s city center, at Metro stop Bilbao. It was opened on 13th December 1926 with Charles Chaplin in “El Peregrino” (The Pilgim) and “El Ultimo Combate”. It was designed by architect Jose de Azpioz of architectural firm Jose de Azpiroz y Azpiroz. Seating was provided for 1,400 in orchestra, two balconies and side boxes. The cinema was listed in the early-1990’s as the Cine Bilbao with 1,268 seats. The Cine Bilbao was closed on 29th January 1993 with Whoopie Goldberg in “Sister Act”. It was converted into a church using the former lower balcony. The foyer and orchestra level was converted into retail use.
However, it reopened as the Cine Bristol on 3rd February 1995 using the former lower balcony. My notes from seeing "The Full Monty" on October 18, 1997, is that the exterior was pretty with ironwork. There were vintage looking front doors. On the ground floor, which would have been the lobby and orchestra seating, instead was a Cortes Ingles book-record-video store. Upstairs, in a modernized auditorum was the cinema with 500 seats, which I counted as 24 rows of 17 seats each, a screen that I estimated at 35 feet wide for ‘scope films, and a red ridged curtain that rose & lowered. The Cine Bristol was then operated by the same Spanish chain that operated the Palacio de la Prensa on the Gran Via. It was closed in 2003.
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