Madrid is a city that never lacks in theaters, concert halls, and cinema houses. Clearly, there must be tons of these entertainment and artistic establishments scattered all over the place, which is a boon to the veritable film buffs and theater goers. Towering and gargantuan or cramp in space, modern or archaic, mainstream or independent, silver screen or the stage — cinemas and theatres of all types imaginable are found in the city. Needless to say, as a movie lover myself, I think it’s just apt that I draw out my own list of Madrid theaters and moviehouses. Here are my top 10:
1. Teatro Nuevo Apolo
The New Apolo Theatre is a well-known and hip entertainment site in the heart of Madrid, located in the Tirso de Molina Square. It is frequented by theater lovers and enthusiasts, and its edifice is well-photographed by tourists passing through the area, being near important Madrid barrios and neighborhoods that also serve as major tourist areas, such as Lavapies, Embajadores, and Puerta del Sol. Apolo offers a variety of theatrical exhibitions as well as music entertainment shows of different genres. It is also a venue for presenting comedy and dance acts. You can find the establishment in Plaza de Tirso de Molina 28012 Madrid, standing at the corner of Calle Magdalena and Calle de Lavapies.
2. El Teatro Real de Madrid
Also known as Madrid’s Royal Theater in English, the Teatro Real is Spain’s very own opera house, and it goes way back in the 1800’s. Being one of the oldest makes it one of the most important opera houses in the whole of Europe as well. I thought that it is apt to call it the Royal Theater, since it is very near the Palacio Real de Madrid. And since it is in the midst of the city’s tourist areas, this iconic theater is easy to find. The fastest way to the monument is either Calle Felipe V to its right or Calle Carlos III on its left, both of which opens to the Plaza de Oriente, where it is located. At the back of the theater is Plaza de Isabel II.
3. Cine Callao
If you’re raring to watch popular movies but would like to experience classy and nostalgic theater ambiance, the Callao Cinema should be your choice. Located in a strategic spot in Plaza del Callao, in front of Gran via, I never fail to stop to check the movie teasers and ads being flashed on its exterior screen. Just nearby is the Edificio Carrión, along Calle Jacometrezo.
4. Cine Capitol
Still another revered theater, located near the Cines Calle, is the Cine Capitol. It is a beautiful theater that enhances that part of Gran via, specifically at Edificio Carrion. The cinema is the reason why the Carrion building is also known as Edificio Carrión. It has been operating since December of 1933. The establishment belongs to the movie complex known as the Callao City Lights.
5. Teatro Circo Price
Near the barrios of Atocha and Embajadores is the Circo Price theater, which was originally, as the name suggests, a circus. It was built by Thomas Price in 1853, but was taken down in 1970. In March 2007, the establishment was renovated, resulting in a modernistic facade. This theater holds dear to my heart because a popular Filipino artist, Gary Valenciano (who is partly Latino), held a concert here two years ago. From Estacion de Madrid de Atocha, you only need to walk a few hundred meters via Ronda de Atocha.
6. Teatro Español
Another theater that exudes typical neo-classic architecture is the Teatro Espanol, known before as Teatro del Principe. Located in the historic Plaza de Santa Ana at Barrio de las Letras, in front of this major Madrid artistic landmark is one of Madrid’s premier hotels, ME by Melia. Tourists from Puerta del Sol, Retiro, Plaza Mayor and even the Palacio de Cibeles are likely to pass through the Santa Ana Square to marvel at this classic theater. An establishment filled with rich history, it is now a public establishment under the administration of the Spanish government.
7. Teatro Calderon
A historic theater situated in the heart of Madrid is the Calderón Theater, also known as Teatro Caser Calderón. Popular among Madridenos, you will find it in the corner of Atocha Street, in front of the Jacinto Benavente Square. The edifice is touted to be as one of Madrid’s most beautiful, a proud masterpiece of renowned Spanish architect Eduardo Sánchez Eznarriaga. Before it occupied the location, the site was where the old Trinitarios Calzados convent was found. Currently, the building has become much of an attraction, especially to tourists and visitors to the area, if only because of the gigantic plastic and shapely legs that jot out of one of its top windows.
8. Sala Triángulo
Also known as Teatro del Barrio, Sala Triangulo is a small but frequented theater located within the Lavapies vicinity. It is often the venue of choice of various cultural and artistic events and activities for both the young and adults. It also presents various concert and theater acts, as well as workshops and courses. Plays are likewise featured here, which are productions from both in house and outside companies. Exact location is at Calle Zurita 20 Madrid. The nearest metro stations are Lavapiés and Antón Martín.
9. Cine Doré
Another impressively beautiful theater is the Doré cinema, which is hidden in a narrow street called Calle Santa Isabel 3, in the center of Madrid, at the vicinity of Anton Martin. Opened in December of 1912, it was built and created by illustrious Spanish architects like Críspulo Moro Cabeza and Manuel Lopez-Mora Villega. In the 1980’s, Dore served as the exhibition site of Spanish Filmoteca, intended for the public. Renovations on the building and facade were also made, greatly enhancing its already classic appearance. Additions to the theater were also done, such as the creation of another projection room. Exhibitions were also allowed on its outdoor terrace. Its location is at Calle de Santa Isabel 3.
The Matadero of Arganzuela, one of Madrid’s centers for arts, culture and entertainment, has its own cinema dedicated to showing independent and alternative films from Spain and all over the world, the Cineteca. If you love non-fiction and documentary films, and want to take advantage of free screenings, it’s time to head to Matadero for some fine Cine teca offerings.