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Hold the Dubbing, Please: Finding the Perfect Cinema in Spain

by Teba Orueta

Spain’s dubbing industry has long been regarded as one of the best in the world. No doubt, if you’ve spent some time in the country, you have experienced the pleasure (or pain) of listening to some of your favorite actors and actresses dubbed into Spanish.

It may be snobbery or simply an appreciation for the varying tones, cadences and nuances you pick up in different artists’ voices. Despite the artful dubbing in Spain, many people prefer an actor’s original voice, whether they actually understand the language the actor is speaking in or not.

Thankfully, Madrid offers a few cinemas or movie theaters showing films in their original versions. Look for the indicator V.O.S., meaning original version with subtitles. These smaller-screen theaters tend to showcase a wider range of films, at times indulging the intellect and the cultural mindset beyond the average blockbuster or even taking viewers on a voyage through time with reruns of old classics.

Although the smaller screens may be a nuisance for lovers of 500-seat theaters, they do provide a rather cozy and intimate feel—and in some cases, the chance to enjoy a nice glass of red wine. With the average price of a ticket at almost seven euros, it is also worth noting the ‘día del espectador’ (spectator discount day) generally on Monday evenings.

Modern e-booking has also reached these smaller theaters. Most offer the chance to book tickets online through the entradas.com website and thus avoid the outdoor queues on cold winter nights. More important, though, is knowing where to get the latest entertainment information and reviews, in paper or online. Long-time running La Guía del Ocio—literally meaning the entertainment guide—is the leisure publication worth investing in. Updated and issued weekly, it is available for sale at any newsagent or kiosk for as little as one euro, and online at guiadelocio.es. For telephone ticket purchase, ring 902 221 622.

With popular award shows only a few weeks away and January-February boasting a packed calendar of film releases, here is your ticket to entertainment in ‘versión original’ in Madrid:

(1) Pequeño Cine Estudio: This was the first cinema to open in Madrid in 1977 with the aim of showcasing old classics in their original versions. It remains a cult spot for those young and old wanting to relive the magic of watching old classics, in color or black and white. In past times, this theater was also the studio location and school for many now well-known Spanish film directors. This small, intimate cinema is a must for lovers of the silver screen.
C/ Magallanes 1; Tel. 914 472 920; Nearest Metro Station: Quevedo or San Bernardo; Regular adult price: 6.50EUR; Viewer discount day & price: Monday 5.00EUR.

(2) Cines Verdi: This smaller chain of cinemas is a big supporter of the arts and of smaller independent films, artists and directors. Lately, they have helped sponsor short films that might otherwise not make it to larger commercial cinemas by airing them free of charge in between showings of their main feature films.
C/ Bravo Murillo 28; Nearest Metro: Quevedo; Tel. 914 473 930; Regular adult price: 6.50EUR; Viewer discount day & price: Monday 4.80EUR. http://www.cines-verdi.com

(3) Cines Renoir: This well-known chain has numerous locations showcasing films in their original versions. Beware as the group has two cinemas called “Princesa” located one beside the other, which can make things a bit confusing. The ones in the Princesa Street boast nine screens and fresh popcorn. They are also conveniently located inside a square with many fast food restaurants and amenities for those wanting to grab a drink or a bite to eat before or after the film. The Prince and Princess of Spain have been spotted watching films at these theaters. Cines Renoir often hold news conferences, sneak previews and film debates. They also have a discount membership card with good benefits.
Cines Princesa: Calle Princesa 3; Nearest Metro: Plaza España; Tel. 915 414 100; Regular adult price: 6.50EUR.
Cines Renoir Princesa: Calle Princesa 5 (Pasaje Martín de los Heros); Nearest Metro: Plaza España; Tel. 915 421 172; Regular adult price: 6.50EUR.
Cines Renoir Plaza de España: C/ Martín de los Heros 12; Nearest Metro: Plaza España; Tel. 915 413 914; Regular adult price: 6.50EUR.
Cines Renoir Cuatro Caminos: C/ Raimundo Fernández Villaverde 10; Nearest Metro: Cuatro Caminos; Tel. 915 414 100; Regular adult price: 6.50EUR. http://www.cinesrenoir.com

(4) Yelmo Cineplex Ideal: Located in the authentic neighborhood of la Latina, this chain of cinemas has a rather striking art deco façade that adds glamour to its surroundings. It boasts nine screens, midnight showings, fresh (if pricey) popcorn, and a movie discount membership card program.
C/ Dr. Cortezo 6; Nearest Metro: Tirso de Molina; Tel. 914 362 518; Regular adult price: 6.90EUR; Viewer discount day & price: Monday 5.60EUR. http://www.yelmocineplex.es

(5) Cines Golem: Located in a cinema hot spot, the Martin de los Heros alleyway, this cinema has been renovated but continues to show cult films outside mainstream cinema on its five screens. 
C/ Martín de los Heros 14; Tel. 915 593 836; Nearest Metro Station: Plaza de España; Regular adult price: 6.00EUR; Viewer discount day & price: Monday 4.50EUR. http://www.golem.es/golem/index.php?z=6 

(6) Cine Cité Manoteras: This is a mega leisure outlet, part of the French cinema chain UGC, and has a total of 19 screens, three of which are used to show some films in original versions. UGC discount card available.
Avenida Manoteras 40; Nearest Metro Station: Pinar de Chamartín; Tel. 902 100 842; Regular adult price: 6.50EUR; Viewer discount day & price: Wednesday 5.70EUR.


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