After three years closed tightly due to the pandemic, the emblematic Texas cinemas in the Gràcia neighborhood will rise from their ashes as Espai Texas, a new cultural and leisure space that will combine cinema and theater, a unique and exceptional format in Catalonia whose objective is to be a popular cultural reference for the city.
The original cinematographic activity will continue in the two rooms below, where you can see films in Catalan -both in the original version and dubbed or subtitled-, and first-run and re-release European films, classics or blockbusters for family audiences at affordable prices. On the other hand, the other two rooms available will see their structure modified to establish itself as a stage space with 200 seats and a program that will bet heavily on creation and contemporary Catalan dramaturgy, while giving new life to the successes of the rooms of proximity.
In a symbolic act to present the project to the press this morning, the organizers raised the blinds of the premises located at Calle Bailén 205 with a big smile as a sign of optimism and hope before the flashes of the photographers.
The reactivation of the space is being carried out thanks to the support of the residents of Gràcia and the union between Cinema Illa Messina, formed by Isona Passola and Joan Teixidor, and Texas Teatre, with Anna Rosa Cisquella, Natàlia Obiols, Flyhard Produccions and the cooperative communication and cultural production Barc. "We want to recover the spirit and function that the Texas Cinemas had. We want to recover the public and we want to do it in Catalan, continuing a proposal that had been successful", said Passola in reference to those years in which the Texas attracted a large public. "Our obsession is that the queues return to Texas", has continued the current president of the Barcelona Ateneu. She has called the project "exciting" and has assumed that in a certain way all those behind it "are crazy."
Passona has commented that the entrance to the new space will have a large bar where the public will be able to talk when leaving the cinema or with the actors after the theater performance. "It is very important that there is a place of physical proximity. People need to meet and talk to each other," Passona stressed, adding that the project's slogan is: "Less Tinder and more Texas."
Cisquella has acknowledged that when Passola told him about the proposal, he did not want to get involved at first. They have received institutional aid from the Generalitat, Barcelona City Council and the Ministry of Culture. In total some 270,000 of public financing and 237,603 between own and private, but the cost of the works and the rehabilitation adds about 450,000, in addition to the 96,000 among other costs of starting the activity. Money is still missing, a minimum of 40,000 euros that they hope to have thanks to a limited crowdfunding campaign through Goteo.
And for this they encourage citizen collaboration. For this reason, the presentation of the project to the residents of the neighborhood will take place on March 18, with a live performance by The Feliuettes. There will also be an open house all weekend. The idea is that the works of the Espai Texas begin after Easter and everything is ready for next autumn.