Barcelona´s IMAX cinema is designed to fully immerse the audience, catering to their sense of sight and sound so that they feel as if they were in the movie themselves. If you have seen a 3-D movie recently but not at an IMAX cinema, do not be fooled, this is an entirely different experience. To start, the screen is much larger than the screen of an ordinary cinema. Barcelona´s IMAX cinema boasts the biggest screen in Spain, 21 meters high and 600 meters long, which is equivalent in height to a 7 storey building.
The Barcelona IMAX cinema was designed by architects Enric Sòria and Jordi Garcés. It opened in 1995 and was the first IMAX cinema in Spain. The Barcelona IMAX cinema was also the first IMAX integral cinema in the world, meaning that it uses three different kinds of technology.
The first is the use of the exceptionally large, flat screen. The second technology is the 3-D technology which has the viewers wearing special, polarized glasses so that the images will appear to emerge from the screen. Finally, the Barcelona IMAX cinema uses Omnimax technology, which is when films are self-projected onto a semispherical screen so that it will surround the viewers.
The geometry of the cinema is customized to maximize the field of vision of the members of the audience. It is designed as if it were a Roman amphitheatre, with an angle of 45°, so as to capture the widest visual spectrum. Audience members are completely engaged in the film no matter where they are seated.
The audio system is also very important in an IMAX cinema. IMAX cinemas use the most advanced technology in order to offer the best sound quality possible. Speakers are placed in the front, on the sides, and in the back in order to truly surround the audience. The sound in Barcelona´s IMAX cinema can reach 27.000 vats.
The IMAX cinema of Barcelona typically has a variety of movies showing. The biggest problem for visitors is that the movies are usually shown in Spanish or Catalan without subtitles. Still, this shouldn´t stop you from going as the narration will probably be the least interesting part of the film!
In order to check the show times you will have to go to the Spanish or Catalan version of the website, as they are not shown on the English version. Next to the name of the movie is the language it will be show in. If it is blank it means the movie is in Spanish, if it says CAT it means it will be shown in Catalan, and if it says VO it means original version, which can sometimes be English.
Normally at least 10 different films are offered. The majority of them are films that were made specifically for IMAX cinemas. Of these, the majority are nature themed documentaries. Occasionally the films are Hollywood feature films that have been remastered for IMAX.
Ticket prices vary and can be anywhere from €7,10 to €12. Normally the documentary films cost €8,10 and the feature films €12. Wednesday is “Día del Espectador” which means that all films are shown for €1 less than their usual price.
The IMAX is located on the Moll d’Espanya, in the old port, Port Vell. It´s walking distance from the Maremagnum shopping center which in addition to shops also has bars and restaurants.
The Barcelona IMAX cinema is probably not going to make anyone´s top ten list of things to see and do in Barcelona, since it´s not really going to give you any further insight into the city or culture. Still, it´s a good option if you need an activity for the family (it probably goes without saying that this is a great activity for children) or if you´re just looking for something a bit different. Not only that, IMAX cinemas are still not very common (there are only around 500 in the entire world) so it´s nice to be able to experience on if you have the opportunity.
Address: Moll d’Espanya, s/n
Phone: 932 251 111
How to get there: Metro L3, stop Drassanes and L4, stop Barceloneta. | Bus 14, 17, 19, 36, 39, 40, 45, 57, 59, 64 and 157. | Barcelona Bus Turístic, stop Port Vell.
Web site: www.imaxportvell.com