Top 5 Arthouse Cinemas in Barcelona
Barcelona might not be a major city in terms of film production within Europe, but the city does celebrate the cinema, and independent, arthouse spaces around the center showcase new works almost every day.
Barcelona’s malls all have mainstream cinema complexes that show the new release films coming in from overseas. The arthouse cinemas are smaller scale spaces where you’ll be able to watch local, European and low budget movies instead.
Filmoteca de Catalunya in Barcelona
Newcomers to Barcelona tend to spend a lot of time in el Raval. It’s the vibrant neighborhood that is central to both the old town and the beach, making it the go-to area for periods of refreshment or entertainment between free guided walking tours and sightseeing.
The Filmoteca de Catalunya is half an arthouse cinema, and half a film preservation foundation. The house thousands of films in their archives, along with the relative documents related to each.
It functions as a foundation by day, and an arthouse cinema by night. Around 5pm daily the screenings start, usually involving an indie film or documentary that is being newly released. It is not uncommon to enjoy panel discussions after each of the films, sometimes with the filmmakers themselves.
One thing to note is that the prices per ticket are lower at the Filmoteca than any other cinema in Barcelona, arthouse or mainstream. It’s a great option for an inexpensive date night out in the city, and there are many tapas bars in the surrounding streets where your evening can continue to unfold afterward.
OPENING HOURS: Daily
ADDRESS: Plaça de Salvador Seguí, 1, 9, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
METRO STATION: Liceu
Cinema Maldà in Barcelona
Moving north from el Raval will bring you into the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona. This old, medieval town is filled with cafes and boutique clothing stores, & my personal favorite arthouse cinema in all of the city.
The Cinema Maldà is a vintage theatre consisting of one screening space that operates on loop. What that means is that there is a continuous stream of old movies from around the world all day.
One admission ticket is valid for the entire day, which means you can come and go to as many of the films as you like until day end. You could also sit in the cinema from morning until night if you really wanted to.
Visit their social media to see the up and coming schedule so you can plan your visit accordingly. Given the historic nature of the neighborhood, it might be a good idea to watch an early film, follow it with a bite to eat in a Gothic Quarter cafe, walk a bit on a guided walking tour and then end off with one more film to take you into the evening.
OPENING HOURS: Daily
ADDRESS: Carrer del Pi, 5, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
METRO STATION: Jaume I
Cines Verdi in Barcelona
The Cines Verdi can be confusing; it is actually two different cinema complexes, one named Cines Verdi and one named Park Verdi. Combined, the two hold a total of five screens, making this the biggest arthouse cinema in Barcelona.
During evenings and on weekends this is one of the busiest entertainment spots in all of Gracia. Locals adore this cinema because it mostly screens films made in Europe and/or Asia. Spanish films are common and locals enjoy being able to watch movies in their home language instead of having to read subtitles.
Tickets at the Cines Verdi are half priced on Mondays. Because this cinema is frequented by Barcelona locals, cost of admission is kept low, as are the prices for snacks.
OPENING HOURS: Various
ADDRESS: Carrer de Verdi, 32, 08012 Barcelona, Spain
METRO STATION: Joanic
Cines Renoir in Barcelona
This is another one of my favorite arthouse cinemas in Barcelona. It’s also in el Raval, on a vibey street with many tapas bars and places to eat authentic paella.
The films are always interesting; the kind of awe-inspiring movies that never get the widespread screen time they truly deserve. On Wednesdays the cost of admission is significantly reduced, but the theatre gets packed, so arrive early to avoid disappointment.
Something to note about the Cines Renoir is that they have strict no late entry policy. Ticket sales and admission are closed off exactly ten minutes after the stipulated start time of the movie, no exceptions.
If you want to purchase snacks once inside you’ll have to pay with cash only.
OPENING HOURS: Daily
ADDRESS: Carrer de Floridablanca, 135, 08011 Barcelona, Spain
METRO STATION: Urgell
Sala Montjuic in Barcelona
If you head directly south down the coastline from el Raval and Poble Sec, you’ll eventually come to a hilly area that holds a 17th century fortress at the summit. This fortress on top of Montjuic has expansive grounds that were recently transformed into an open air arthouse cinema that overlooks the city.
The cinema is comprised of a giant screen and extensive, grass covered seating areas. Beach-style chairs are available, but guests are encouraged to bring along picnic blankets for additional seating in the event of a full house.
On that note, this is one popular entertainment spot that tourists love. You need to get here at least 30 minuets before the start time to queue for tickets and make your way inside. Consider arriving even earlier since the best spots are at the front and these are scooped up almost immediately after opening.
You’ll be allowed to bring in any foods you like, picnics are encouraged. There are snacks and drinks available in the cinema grounds.