History

The building was built at Los Madrazo Street in 1907, with an access from Los Madrazo Street to host the Salon Madrid, a pavilion for cinematographic projections designed by architect Luis López López. The building was made up of a big unit with two lateral corridors and at the end, a big stage with a wide space for the orchestra. It was renovated on different occasions, enlarging and impro-ving its facilities until 1916, when architect Francisco Reynals, presented a project to transform it into a Spanish ball-court (frontón) for women: the El Fronton Madrid. Almost all the ground floor was organized by the ball court, the grandstand, access corridors and cafeteria-lounge.

In 1920, architect Luis Ferrero projected a new renovation, demolishing the previous building and transforming it into the Rey Alfonso theatre. Back then, the main entrance was changed to Ceda-ceros Street and the stage was changed to the opposite side. The ground, main and first floors hosted the theatre while the third and fourth floors were occupied by a double-height ball-court. It was this project by Luis Ferrero that gave the building the architectural style that is still has no-wadays.

In 1924 it became a cinema, but it was unsuccessful and closed its doors soon after. It later reope-ned as a venue for cuplé shows of erotic nature under the names Piccadilly club and Cabaret Lido. In 1927, Luis Ferrero, transformed the old ball-court into lounges for a private company. Afterwards and for many years, it was the Panorama Cinema and it became a real cinematographic reference for the neighbourhood, until 1965, when after some renovations and enlargements done by archi-tect Manuel Ródenas, it was re-opened as the Arniches theatre, until the mid seventies. Since then, and due to the success of the emerging “S” classified cinema, it started to be used as a pro-jection cinema for this kind of films, a novelty back then. It then became the Cedaceros Cinema, its façade and some interior elements were refurbished and it entered in the circuit of the so-called studio-cinemas.

In its last years, as Bogart Cinema, it showed comercial releases, it kept its film club program and it hosted several editions of the Festival Les Gay Cine Mad. In March 2001 it closed its doors be-cause it didn’t comply with the city’s security code; the building has remained closed ever since.

Bibliography

  • Cines de Madrid. David David Miguel Sánchez Fernández. Publisher La Librería (2012)

  • Arquitectura teatral en Madrid. Del corral de comedias al cinematógrafo. Angel Luis Fernandez Muñoz. Publisher El Avapiés (1988)

  • Primeros veinticinco años del cine de Madrid, Los 1896-1920. Josefina Martínez Álvarez. Publisher Filmoteca Española (1992)