Interior design studio Plantea has transformed a former adult-film cinema in Madrid, creating a contemporary art-nouveau theatre within its abandoned shell. The previous dark interiors reminiscent of its racy, X-rated past have been replaced with an air of vintage elegance. Rich velvet fabrics, bright LED lights, and soft pink tones are layered together, creating a series of spaces that are too tempting to skip past.
The now renamed Sala Equis comes along with a long and vibrant history. Built-in the courtyard of a neoclassical mansion, the former Duque de Alba cinema opened its doors as a movie theatre in 1941. Adult films were shown for almost three decades before it was turned into a modern restaurant, design shop and art gallery.
The 700 square metre venue is built around a multi-levelled plaza that blurs the boundary between the interior and exterior. A large skylight invites bright light into the space, while planting designed in collaboration with landscaping studio Rentagarden, makes occupants feel as though they are bathing in the sunshine outside. Folding beach stairs and garden sofas have been chosen for their flexibility to suit a range of activities. Intricate wall details and exposed marks of age bring the heritage voice of the project into the contemporary, adding to its ever-growing narrative.
The heart of the project is the refurbished cinema that now stands as an intimate space able to hold 64 people. Upon entering the room, guests are met with an explosion of vivacious ruby red. Walls, ceilings, and plush seating have all been wrapped in red velvet, creating a secluded and cosy feel. Scalloped-edged benches have been chosen over individual seating, creating a unique shared viewing experience.
The drama of the theatre sits in contrast to the muted palette used in the cocktail bar. A dusty pink shade colours the walls and bar, producing a romantic space that feels as if it were borrowed from a vintage movie set. Square tiles line the floor in a colour-shifting grid of pale blue and pink tones, while a curving wooden benchtop injects warmth into the room. Designers state they chose to incorporate LED lights and velvet upholstered furnishings to create the feel of a classic night club – the result is a space we wouldn’t mind having a drink in!
Plantea has brought retro Americana inspired vibe to a former adult cinema, creating a beautiful series of spaces with an irresistible vintage feel.