Arenas Cine Gay

Carrer de Tarragona 5-7,
Barcelona 08014

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Balana

Styles: Art Deco

Previous Names: Cine Arenas

Nearby Theaters

Arenas Cine Gay

Located close to the Barcelona Bull Ring and the Placa, the Cine Arenas opened on 25th December 1928 with a triple bill programme “The Blue Danube”, “Amores de Ninos” (Loves of Children or Children of Love?) with Laura La Plante and “Sombras en la Noche (Secrets of the Night-1924) with Madge Bellamy. It had a seating capacity of 1,500. The main entrance of the cinema was located at Carrer De La Creu Coberta 22-24.

On 28th February 1929 it staged the first of many variety shows and on 5th July 1930 a Festival of Opera was organised with artistes from the Theatre de l'Opera Paris appearing.

It was renovated in 1943 and was taken over by the Balana chain. In later years, during the 1960’s, the programming tended towards sexploitaion films. On 4th November 1990, it suffered damage from a small fire caused by the heating system.

In around 2003, the original main entrance was closed and the foyer and possibly part of the original rear of the auditorium, is now in use as an Outlet sports shop.

A new entrance was made to the cinema at the rear of the building, at Carrer de Tarragona 5-7, and is accessed down a short alley named Carrer De La Diplotacio, opposite the Bull Ring. The cinema has been screening gay porn movies for many years in its 392 seat auditorium, which is located in the former front orchestra seating and stage of the original Cine Arenas. Seating is quite new and there are double ‘love’ seats in the back rows. Internally, there is nothing remaining of its decorative details.

The Arenas Cine Gay had its own large licenced bar and games room and was very popular. Despite this it was closed in 2015, and was demolished in November 2015.

Contributed by KenRoe

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

woody on March 4, 2008 at 2:10 am

the original cinema entry on De La Creu Coberta is now a sports shop, the new address is where the original building backs onto the street behind (Tarragona), so the auditorium is the original 70’s large basement screen.
Its quite large (300-ish seats) and shows mainstream films, with a small second screen (50 seats-ish) off the rear that shows porn projected on a large screen and a third small dark area (standing/shuffling only) with plasma screens showing gay porn.

original frontage on De La Creu Coberta

new frontage on Tarragona (but down an alleyway behind a big office block)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on April 8, 2008 at 1:14 pm

A photograph of the exterior of the Arenas Cine Gay that I took in April 2008:
A photograph of the facade of the Cine Arenas that I took in April 2008:

munichbear on November 19, 2013 at 4:58 am

i like this cinema!!!lots of great mens are there and horny spanish machos!!! the backyard after the screen is the biggest darkroom worldwide!! and clean and safe.

Woody_London on November 16, 2015 at 10:29 am

sadly closed in 2015 and in the process of being demolished Nov 2015 – see photos, far too valuable a prime piece of land

bertin on December 21, 2016 at 2:00 am

J'ai une expérience émue du ciné Arena.Quand je l'ai découvert en 2011, je n'en revenais pas: un vrai cinéma suranné, la scène d'époque, les fauteuils étamés, la salle immense…au vu des trop rares spectateurs, je subodorais qu'il fallait que je me dépêchasse pour visiter et re-visiter ce lieu magique. Au surplus, un vrai film de qualité était projeté avec le halo de lumière bleuté et le bruit caractéristique de l'appareil de projection.Et ce ticket, minuscule bout de carton jaune, que l'on nous remettait an caisse! Je songeais en voyant et discutant avec les spectateurs : dire qu'ils ont connu l'époque de Franco et les pesetas! Finalement, ils avaient de la chance les barcelonais : certes, l'homosexualité était réprimée mais du moins avaient-ils ce lieu extra-ordinaire, grandiose, féerique. Chaque année,2012,2013, 2014,2015 me suis-je empressé d'y aller. Au vu des maigres entrées, devinais-je qu'un jour ou l'autre un tel site, pourtant chargé d'histoire et de mémoire de la Barcelone des années révolues, allait s'évanouir. Yo soy triste. “Aimes-tu les tios?” me demandaient-ils. Et moi de les récompenser, à ma manière, pour les remercier d'avoir porté ce cinéma gay tant d'années. J'ai bien dû récompenser aussi les gigolos. Dame! Le droit d'entrée était de 9.50 euros. Il leur fallait bien retour sur investissement, je le conçois. Alors qu'en Francia, de tels cinémas n'existent plus depuis les années 90, la tolérante Catalanyua, qui sait ce que souffrir veut dire, a pu s'enorgueillir d'un minuscule mais symbolique lieu de pluralité et de bonheur masculins. Arena sut accomplir, mezzo voce, sa fonction sociale régulatrice : ils étaient légion les hommes portant alliance à l'annulaire gauche! Alors, adios, adios l'Arena et son personnel sobre et discret, adios aux vingt rangées d'inconfortables sièges, adios à la définition placer y razon misma de la vida. adios, adios, Barcelona. Puisses-tu chérir encor tous tes enfants,aisés ou modestes, de Montjuic à Nou barris. Adios Barcelona, ton histoire te regarde. Adios,hasta nunca. ()

bertin on March 1, 2019 at 4:48 am

I have a moving experience of the cinema Arena. When I discovered it in 2011, I could not believe it: a real old-fashioned cinema, the period scene, the tinned armchairs, the immense hall … considering the all too rare spectators, I was under the spell that I had to hurry to visit and re-visit this magical place. In addition, a real quality film was projected with the halo of blue light and the characteristic sound of the projection device. And this ticket, tiny piece of yellow card, that we were given a box! I thought while seeing and discussing with the spectators: to say that they knew the time of Franco and the pesetas! Finally, they were lucky Barcelona: certainly, homosexuality was repressed but at least they had this place extra-ordinary, grandiose, fairy. Every year, 2012,2013, 2014,2015 I was eager to go. Given the meager entries, I guessed that one day or another such a site, yet full of history and memory of the Barcelona of the past years, would faint. Yo be sad. “Do you like them?” They asked me. And I reward them, in my way, to thank them for having worn this gay cinema so many years. I must have rewarded gigolos too. Lady! The entrance fee was 9.50 euros. They needed a good return on investment, I understand. While in France, such cinemas have not existed since the 90s, the tolerant Catalanyua, who knows what suffering means, could boast of a tiny but symbolic place of plurality and happiness male. Arena was able to perform, mezzo voce, its regulatory social function: they were legion men wearing a ring on the left ring! Then, adios, adios the Arena and its sober and discreet staff, adios to the twenty rows of uncomfortable seats, adios to the definition to place razon misma of the vida. adios, adios, Barcelona. May you still cherish all your children, wealthy or modest, from Montjuic to Nou Barris. Adios Barcelona, ​​your story is watching you. Adios, hasta nunca. ()

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