The shack transformed into the Cine Galvany

* The author is part of the community of readers of La Vanguardia.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
15 May 2024 Wednesday 10:35
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The shack transformed into the Cine Galvany

* The author is part of the community of readers of La Vanguardia

The primitive Galvany Cinema in Barcelona was built inside the old Montmatre Gardens, located at 45 Calaf Street.

Magí Tobella, owner of the old Montmatre Gardens that had been inaugurated in 1920, seeing the lack of cinemas in the neighborhood, decided to request the necessary permits to build a wooden hut in which to hold film screenings for the neighborhood.

The new venue was authorized by the Association of Entertainment Entrepreneurs of Catalonia to open its doors, according to La Vanguardia on May 12, 1925, on page 17, along with the city venues Principal Palace and La Alianza, in Poblenou. , who had made modifications to their premises.

But it did not appear on the La Vanguardia billboard until June 20. At that time, in neighborhood cinemas neither projectors nor tapes could support the projection of films of excessive length, so they were projected in parts. The film You Will Honor Your Mother was shown, thus, in 10 parts. The program was completed by the two-part comedy film El Campesino and the natural magazine Crocodile Hunting and Breeding.

Tobella's experience was so successful that he quickly ordered the construction of a new venue to achieve a larger capacity, with a capacity of close to 900 spectators.

The new premises were inaugurated on Saturday, June 20, 1925 with the new name of Cine Galvany (name of the market located in front of the gardens). With the desire to establish itself as the best cinema in the neighborhood, as of March 30, 1927, it became part of the Select Cinema company, a cinema located at Mayor de Gracia 175, which was in charge of its programming.

During this time, the Galvany presented several variety and magazine programs in its premises that at that time were revolutionizing Barcelona theaters. One of the magazines that was most successful was There is no silver lining.

The agreement for the management of the two venues was so quick that the advertisement for the Select cinema published on the newspaper billboards included a note that said: “Today's and tomorrow's program will be projected, together with the Galvany Cinema.”

The program that was screened that day was composed of Magazine, A Safe Shooter, Evening Suit, by Reginald Denny and Laura La Plante, and “The Timid Tenorio,” by Harold Llovd.

The venue, apart from the projection of films, was used by the authorities and cultural associations of the neighborhood to celebrate popular events that required a significant capacity.

On Friday, October 28, 1932, at the initiative of the Casal d'Esquerra Republicana de Sant Gervasí, a concert was held at ten in the evening, offered by the Municipal Band of Barcelona directed by maestro Lamote de Grignon, for the benefit of the poor of the neighborhood.

Given the progress of the place, in 1933, Magí Tobella decided that he could not continue running his business, so he decided to part with the filmmakers Pere Alsina i Castells, Lluís Soler i Calsina, Cebrià Ferres i Frias y Albert Colomé and Bernabéu, a group of four partners that carried out a major renovation.

Although it initially disappeared from newspaper billboards, it reappeared in June 1935, on the occasion of Cinema Day, which was celebrated the following day. Throughout the day, they gave away numbers for a raffle of gifts given by the business to all attendees.

During the civil war and after being collectivized by the CNT/FAI, it began programming, on Thursday, September 17, the films The Man with Two Faces, You Know Your Wife, Broadway Melody, Drawings and Magazine.

After the civil war, businessman Francesc Benaiges took charge of the company for two years. On September 30, 1942, Francesc Xicota i Cabré, who managed, among others, the Maryland, Capitol, Spring, Excelsior, Condal and Roxy cinemas, took over the Galvany, until the end of the contract on November 30, 1944. At that time date his name was lost on film billboards.