The Doré Cinema is one of the magical places that can still be found in Madrid. When you visit it, you have the feeling that you have gone back to the atmosphere of a place of the old times of Madrid. Some time ago, we wrote in this blog about the Monumental Cinema which was inaugurated in the 1920´s in Plaza de Antón Martín where screenings of films as well as variety shows and plays could be seen. The beautiful Doré Cinema is located only a few minutes on foot from there, and it is contemporary with the Monumental Cinema. They are both linked by culture.
At present, in the Doré Cinema we can still watch and enjoy interesting films as well as cinema series all of which cannot normally be seen in commercial market cinemas. We love this place not only because of its historical and cultural value but also because of its fascinating decoration which enables us to imagine what Madrid was like in a different time. However, we must point out that the Doré Cinema is in such a good state of preservation thanks to the important restoration that it underwent. We have already written about another restored place in Madrid which was the Muslim Wall. Today, we offer you to come to the cinema, but a very special and different one: the Doré Cinema.
A FAIRYTALE BUILDING
The first cinematograph in Madrid, which was also the first in Spain, was installed in Carrera de San Jerónimo in 1896. From that time onwards, many places emerged such as assembly rooms, theatres and music halls where films were shown. One of these premises was the Doré Cinema located in Calle Santa Isabel and which was inaugurated in 1912. However, the current building was constructed in 1923.
The façade is fascinating with its reddish walls and six white columns as well as its white ornaments of sinuous forms and the placard of Doré Cinema framed in an oval-shaped surface. When we come upon this striking façade, we have the feeling that we are in the midst of a fairytale place, as if the scenery of the city has completely changed and we find ourselves in a haunted house. This sensation is due to the motifs made of plaster and to the Baroque and Art Nouveau ornaments. This decoration was very much used by cinematographs in order to attract the attention of passers-by.
The Doré Cinema could seat 1.250 people and every single detail was taken into account in order to create a cosy and pleasant space. A clear proof of this was that the well-known furniture designer, Francisco Garriga, was asked to participate in the construction and in the decoration of the Cinema. There is a cafeteria as well as a lobby full of period furniture which makes people be transported decades back.
1982: A KEY YEAR
With the passing of time, the Doré Cinema fell into disuse and disrepair till it was eventually abandoned in 1963. Thankfully, in 1982 the Madrid City Council purchased it and restored it from top to bottom. This restoration lasted for seven years and the conservation of all the original architectural elements as well as the decorations was strictly respected and conserved.
Apart from restoring the original screening room, a second one was added and later on even a third one in the open air and this one is, at present, called Luis García Berlanga and is only used in summer. Nowadays, the Doré Cinema houses the Filmoteca Nacional de España. You can see a short report on it in:
DID YOU KNOW THAT…?
In the old days, the Doré Cinema was known as Palacio de las Pipas. This was due to the fact that the audience usually ate sunflower seeds whilst watching the films.
Picture 01: Juan Antonio Segal
Pictures 02 and 03: Manuel
Picture 06: Ministerio de Cultura