Catalonia's new regional film theater packs in 75 percent more punters

Filmoteca de Catalunya´s premises in Barcelona´s Raval neighborhood draws loyal moviegoers

The Filmoteca de Catalunya´s new Raval headquarters
The Filmoteca de Catalunya´s new Raval headquartersJOAN SÁNCHEZ

The new headquarters of the Filmoteca de Catalunya, the region's film theater, has been a spectacular success, says its director.

Since it opened its doors in Barcelona's Raval neighborhood on February 21, 116,782 people have passed through its theaters, almost 75 percent more than in the same period last year when the Filmoteca was housed at the Aquitania cinema. "The regular moviegoers, who at first showed themselves to be reluctant about coming to Raval, have stayed faithful," said the institution's director, Esteve Riambau, during the presentation of the 2013 program earlier this week.

The positive numbers - which come as commercial cinema audiences are falling - are in part due to an increase in the number of screenings (398 more than in 2011), as well as the "novelty factor" of the brand new building, Riambau noted. The figures also arrive as the Filmoteca budget is being progressively reduced - it has already decreased 27 percent since 2010.

But as one Filmoteca's doors open, another's receive a battering. Workers from the Valencia Audiovisual and Cinema Institute (IVAC) on Tuesday handed into the region's new department of education, culture and sport a document signed by 3,000 filmmakers, industry professionals, researchers, students and moviegoers against the planned elimination of the institution and its integration into the new all-encompassing regional CulturArts organization.

The disappearance of IVAC as a standalone institution, along with drastic budget and staff cuts, would necessarily affect the activities and quality of a service that in 2011 alone was used by 110,000 people, the manifesto said. Among those who signed the document were filmmakers Isaki Lacuesta, Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón, José Luis Cuerda and José Luis Guerin. Premises

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