Plaça Paeria, 7,
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Functions: Movies (First Run)
Styles: Italian Renaissance
The Principal is the most beautiful cinema in the Catalonian city of Lleida. While it has been used predominantly for screening films over the last 60 years, it was originally designed as a theatre, hence the official name Teatre Principal. It opened in its current form in 1951 with an opera show.
The Italian-style theatre lends an outstandingly elegant atmosphere to the viewing of - often blockbuster - films. You can choose your seat in the round stalls or the very steep balcony that offers rows over rows of seats, which often remain empty due to the lack of masses of spectators. The seats are made of fine plush. Also the entrance of the cinema under archwalls and the lobby are of very classical taste.
This type of cinema is an endangered species in Spain. Similar big theatres that have been used as cinemas include the Coliseum in Barcelona (now used only as theatre), the Albeniz in Madrid (closed) or the Cervantes in Sevilla (still open). A visit at the Theatre Principal is in my view at the same time a very cheap and rewarding experience that should not be missed.
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