Architects of the project: Arquitecturia | Josep Camps & Olga Felip
The Filmax Cinemas in Gran Vía, located within the Gran Vía 2 shopping centre, opened their doors 15 years ago, with this business model’s boom, which is based on leisure and mass consumption, and it led to filling the urban centres with a multitude of shopping centres, combining shops, restaurants and multi-screen theatres. After this golden age and before the paradigm shift, the client seeks a project to straighten up the cinemas by reducing their dimension, optimising their functioning and offering an experience which goes beyond what happens inside the room.
FUNCTIONING AND EFFICIENCY SINGLE POINT OF SALE The conventional concept of the ticket window is eliminated, getting rid of the volume destined to this function, located in the shopping centre’s restoration terrace. At the main bar, the public can now buy the tickets as well as popcorn, drinks and others, making a single queue.
REDUCTION OF THE NUMBER OF ROOMS
The cinemas go from having 15 rooms to 12. These rooms will be converted into a bowling alley, which will be accessible from the cinemas.
ELIMINATION OF BARRIERS
In the previous distribution, the cinema’s hall was totally closed to the public, except for a single access point where the tickets were cut. These barriers have been eliminated, delaying the access and opening the hall, taking over the entire floor and easing a fluid circulation. It is no longer compulsory to go to the cinemas to consume their products.
With the execution of all the previous points stated above, a bar that allows the worker to carry out all the jobs without moving or interfering with the public is obtained. Thus, the worker can now replace products in the points of sale and in the storehouse, sell tickets, drinks, popcorn, sweets, control the access to the different rooms, control the dynamic digital content and the lighting of the space.
The new bar, consisting of the counter and the working furniture, makes that the 10 points of sale work as such plus, from behind and in direct contact with the storehouse, two workers are able to replace all the consumer products.
The whole false ceiling is demolished in a way that the steps’ slabs section stand on the hall, enriching the concept of the entrance to the cinemas. Given the great height in some points, it is opted for a comfort height of 2.70m, as far as all the elements and coatings will arrive. As from this height, seen installations and structure are painted in a same colour, which gives a sense of uniformity.
Given the original disorder and randomness, it is decided to order the digital information in two axes. The first one, frontal from the access and parallel to the bar, will announce the schedules of films, drinks and other consumables.
In a perpendicular direction, and by screening the original pillars, there will be a billboard with all the films and trailers. The architecture will change according to the information, energising the space.
The experience of entering the cinemas is, amongst other things, the change from light to darkness. At a height of 270 cm, a sub-structure is created to support all the arranged lighting in continuous strips that, with their zig-zag, guide the spectator from the doors to the entrance of the rooms. Therefore, the hall becomes the first gradient of darkness.
The darkening of the whole environment is finished off with a black terrazzo of large white aggregates that, simulating the effect of spilled popcorn, help to avoid the feeling of negligence during peak service hours or impossibility of cleaning.
Within the set of reticulated geometry, it is opted for a singular, dissonant and wheeled element, which will be the sweet trolley. This element can vary its position depending on the day and the use of the rooms.