The leisure entertainment group Costa Este owns some of the most important clubs and bars in Barcelona. Opium Cinema is their most prestigious bar and is perfectly situated in Paris Street, in the heart of Barcelona’s up town district.
As the name of the bar suggests, it used to be a huge one screen cinema but designers have converted it into an extremely popular bar. Opium Cinema is a huge bar and extremely well decorated with white color predominating in the décor. However, it is the illumination that makes the bar so special and helps to create warm and relaxing atmosphere. The original decorative touch of note is the huge coloured florescent balls hanging from the ceiling.
There are two bars with the first one encountered on your right as you enter. In the middle of the room there is another huge oval shaped bar and some comfy white leather sofas which separate the two bars.
Flanking this area there are private VIP rooms which fit up to 8 people and are adorned with white drapes, which can be closed if privacy is an issue, low round tables and more sofas.
The oval bar looks over a small dance floor and finally at the end of the bar is the main VIP area which has a huge screen on the wall showing various imagery and visual effects with a beautiful grand black piano positioned under the screen.
This floor is non smoking however as we are in Spain some people are seen smoking and in general the security turn a blind eye or politely tell you to go upstairs to smoke.
The music on the main floor is commercial dance music. The upper balcony has one bar, two restaurants – The Astoria Amphitheatre and Opium Platea - and lots of tables where numerous groups are seen drinking and smoking. The restauranst are on the left hand side of the balcony and serve high quality cuisine at a reasonable price. You can book a table there over the phone.
The balcony overlooks the entire lower floor and it’s a good place for people watching and it is good to regroup with your friends there and strategically work out the best place to hang out downstairs. There is also a DJ on the balcony who normally plays 80s and 90s classics.
Personally I have never had any problems getting into Opium Cinema. The security staff are friendly and polite and in fact I’ve never seen anyone been ejected from the bar. This is very positive and it is a reflection of the kind of people who go to the bar. In general it is young professionals locals aged between 25 and 35 years old who frequent the establishment and who seem to have left their pretensions at home. Open and having a good time, so the ambience is truly friendly and pleasant.
Drinks prices are a fraction cheaper than the more touristic bars in Port Olympic. I have bought a beer for 4 euros and a long drink for 7 euros. The prices for some reason increase one or two euros after 1 A.M. so get the drinks in early as the bar closes at 3 A.M.
Opium Cinema is one of my recommendations to visit once you are in Barcelona. Sometimes they contract drinks companies to sponsor special nights but in general the week end is the best time to go. It seems to work best as a winter venue and is packed from October to May. It’s a great place to have a dance and meet some locals in different and impressive surroundings.
Address: Paris Street, 193-197
Phone: (0034) 93 414 63 62
How to get there: by metro - Blue Line L5 Diagonal stop.