Expat Culture Guide
Dubbing is rife in Spain and all foreign language films and TV shows will be dubbed into either Catalan or Castellano. However, if you have Canal Plus (satellite TV), you are able to watch all of the latest and best-loved sitcoms in English (by selecting the English option on your remote). If you are looking for English-speaking films, you will need to look for the term “VO” (which means Original Version). If the film was released in English, this is where you will find it still in English. If it was released in another language, one that you don´t speak, you will be out of luck – there are no English subtitled films.
Blockbusters are usually released in Spain on the same day as the rest of the world (the usual practice now is to release globally at the same time to avoid internet piracy) so you won´t have any problems finding the latest releases.
There is little censorship beyond the usual standards of Westernised countries and the rating system is quite straightforward, with recommendations being made for parental guidance for those under 13 years, 15 years and 18 years old.
It´s not usual to buy tickets online through vendors like servicaixa (http://www.servicaixa.com/nav/es/cine/index.html) or telentrada (http://www.telentrada.com), but lines tend to be short and attendants plentiful, depending on time of day and date of release of movie.
VO Cinemas in Barcelona
Passeig de Gràcia, 115, Gràcia Metro: Diagonal 932184345
- Filmo Teca de Catalunya
Avda. de Sarria 33, Eixample Metro: Hospital Clinic 93410759
Villarroel, 102, Eixample 934510051
- Renoir Floridablanca
Floridablanca, 135, Eiixample
Metro: Sant Antoni or Universitat 934263337 http://www.cinesrenoir.com/
- Renoir-Les Corts
Calle Eugeni d’Ors 12
Metro: Les Corts. 934905510 http://www.cinesrenoir.com/
Calle Verdi 32, Gracia. 932387990
Rental options for DVDs are not inspiring. Most DVDs can be played in English (if they were originally released in English), but the selection is a little backwards, and new titles take longer to hit the shelves here than elsewhere.
International films do normally make it here, but when is anybody’s guess. The majority of video shops are independent, and they buy titles when they can afford them, so there’s no guarantee of finding what you are looking for.
Up to date films are sometimes more readily available to buy rather than rent. If you do join a local DVD rental shop, you may have to pay up to €15 deposit, but this is returned when your account and any remaining debts are cleared.
Do join your local library for DVDs. Although the titles may not be the newest they are certainly of good quality and with great range. The advantage is that they free and you can borrow two per card.
DVD Rental Chains (give them a call for store locations as there are no websites):
- Films Video: 93 424 53 06
- Mediabank Cinestore: 90 222 23 03
- Videoclub: 93 385 73 58
Tickets for major theatrical and operatic events range from €30 (for the least expensive seats) to €160 for the VIP boxes. Tickets are available via the website (when the venue has one) or by phoning. It is always wise to book as early as possible as some of the major productions sell out within a couple of days of the tickets being released.
Barcelona’s theatre scene does not enjoy the same international reputation as Madrid’s does. However, what it lacks in literary authority, it makes up for in the visual and audio spectacle of its performances. The theatre scene in the city is lively and well attended, including works by regional and international playwrights.
It should be mentioned that the majority of local theater events (at the Teatre Nacional de Catalunya) as well as Operas at the Gran Teatre Liceu are in Catalan, so if you do not understand Catalan, it will be hard to follow the performance. Also, when you log onto their websites, you will notice that all the text tends to be in Catalan.
Popular venues include:
Gran Teatre de Liceu
La Rambla, 51-59
Tel:(93)485 99 00
Carrer Montseny 47
Gràcia tel: (93) 218 9251
website: http://www.teatrelliure.comTeatre Tívoli
Carrer Casp 8
tel: (93) 412 2063
La Rambla 115
tel: (93) 318 8181
A varied programme of drama, music and dance is on offer at:
Teatre Nacional de Catalunya
Plaça de les Arts 1
tel: (93) 306 5700
El Mercat de les Flors
Carrer Lleida 59
tel: (93) 426 1875
The Guía del Ocio booklet (website: http://www.guiadelocio.com), available from newsagents and news stands, provides information on cultural and other events in the city, as well as contact details for ticket agencies. The free seasonal guide, See Barcelona (website: http://www.seebarcelona.com), which is available in hostels, is also helpful. Alternatively, there is a cultural information desk at Palau de la Virreina, La Rambla 99 (tel: (93) 316 1000).