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Visit biografmuseet.dk about Danish cinemas


A Visit to the "Phenomena Experience" in Barcelona

The 70mm Newsletter
Written and photographed by: Thomas Hauerslev Date: 08.11.2019
Manager of the Phenomena Mr Nacho Cerdá and the Cinemaccanica Victoria 8 70mm projector.

Months ahead of a recent Barcelona Holiday in Spain, I had contacted the Phenomena cinema in the hope that a short visit could be organized, as I wanted to report about "70mm in Spain". The Manager of the Phenomena Mr Nacho Cerdá (b. 1969) replied, and I was most welcome to come and take pictures. Nacho has a passion for cinema and film, and maintains the only operational 70mm cinema in Spain.

Phenomena, The Ultimate Cinematic Experience, is passionately managed by Nacho, who rented the cinema some 10 years ago. Since then, Nacho has spent more than 1,5 million EUR refurbishing and upgrading the cinema to meet the highest standards in comfort and projection.

• Go to Gallery: Phenomena Cinema, Barcelona, Spain
• Go to Gallery: 70mm Adverts and Posters

The "Phenomena Experience" cinema in c/ Sant Antoni Maria Claret, 168, Barcelona dates back to 1963. The cinema has been rebuilt a couple of times. That includes being split up into several screens, and back again into a single screen cinema.

According to Nacho, the "Phenomena Experience" is regarded as the premium cinema by the film production community in Barcelona, and many local film makers are premiering their latest films at the Phenomena. The Phenomena is equipped for 4K digital presentation and Dolby Atmos presentation. Originally Narcho wanted to show only repertoire program of classic films, but that quickly turned out not to be economically feasible. During our visit, "Joker" and "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" was on the program - albeit shown digitally. All films are primarily shown in their original language versions, with Spanish subtitles.

Since taking up 70mm projection not many years ago, the Phenomena have shown a good selection of recent 70mm premieres like
"The Hateful Eight" in Ultra Panavision 70, "Dunkirk" and "Murder on the Orient Express" "Dunkirk" had its Spanish premiere with Director Christopher Nolan in attendance, and that presented its own set of challenges. Warner Brothers spent two days setting up and aligning Phenomena's 70mm projection and sound to the highest standards.
More in 70mm reading:

Gallery: Phenomena Cinema, Barcelona, Spain
Gallery: 70mm Adverts and Posters

The Urgel Cinema, Barcelona, Spain

3-strip in Barcelona, Spain

2001: a space odyssey Campaign

New DP70 information from Spain - #850, #1708 and #1717

DP70 in Spain

Internet link:

"Phenomena Experience" is a 1-screen cinema with 450 seats, 14 curved rows, and a big 15 meter floating screen with a modest CinemaScope curve.

From the street a large facade with red US-made letters presenting the movie title, invites the audience inside to buy the tickets. Two ticket counters and five large glass doors with glass-engraved "Welcome to Phenomena. The Ultimate Cinema Experience" signs welcome the audience as they enter. "Reality Ends Here", says a big rug on the floor. First part of the foyer has a red carpet, and a surprise carpet with the characteristic pattern taken out of the Overlook Hotel as seen in the "The Shining". A vintage 35mm projector is on display as well as vintage movie posters.

Show your ticket and you are led into the next room with a bar, nice clean toilets and two entrances to the cinema. A big sign "Phenomena" illuminates the foyer. The audience can sit in comfortable chairs and chat, having a beer, while they wait to enter the cinema. Red carpets everywhere.

"Phenomena Experience" is a 1-screen cinema with 450 seats, 14 curved rows, and a big 15 meter floating screen with a modest CinemaScope curve. The cinema color scheme in mainly black, with black seats, black walls, and red carpets. Covering the screen is a "Cinerama" red curtain. A unique feature is a second white transparent curtain between the screen and the red curtain. The screen is back-lit around the edges with white LEDs, and with the white fabric, it produces a magical sense of illumination. This effect is used for films with overtures - like "The Hateful Eight".
"Welcome to Phenomena. The Ultimate Cinema Experience. Reality Ends Here"

Upstairs in the very clean two-level projection room, everything is perfectly organized with enough room to make it a comfortable working space for the projectionist. One Cinemeccanica Victoria 8 machine with all 35mm digital sound readers (DTS/DATASAT, SDDS and Dolby Digital) is installed next to the digital projector. The Vic 8 machine is permanently set up for DATASAT 70mm of course. Phenomena can also play 6-track magnetic stereo, and 35mm optical sound from two different readers. The Academy Award winning Kinoton ST270 non-rewind platter is sitting behind the machine. Two large sound racks provide space for all necessary sound processors, and amplifiers.

As we left the projection room, Nacho showed us the administration, and explained how they make all advertising material by themselves. After one hour my wife and I said goodbye to Nacho, and thanked him for a nice tour of the Phenomena. The next show was about to begin. The Phenomena is the only active 70mm cinema on the Iberian peninsula. Do not forget to visit if you are in Barcelona. The next 70mm premiere is expected to be Nolan's espionage thriller “Tenet” in July 2020.

In 70mm at the Phenomena

• BATMAN (1989)

• Go to Gallery: Phenomena Cinema, Barcelona, Spain
• Go to Gallery: 70mm Adverts and Posters

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Updated 07-01-23