Sala Equis is drawing Madrileños to the La Latina-located hub with a heady mix of cinematic, gastronomic, theatrical, and live experiences
In the 1970s, Spain embarked on an experiment that brought graphic sex and nudity to mainstream cinemas. This old sex cinema on the city’s Calle del Duque de Alba in Madrid, which had fallen into disuse until recently, was at the forefront of the country’s sexual revolution. Legends, however, never die; they just become hipper, or in the case of this sex cinema, get an adult makeover! Madrid-based design firm Plantea Estudio took it upon itself to convert a collection of spaces within the old sex cinema into Sala Esquis—a multifunctional hub that mixes live music shows and films to offer a different sort of happy ending.
Erotic Cinema Turns Club | Replaying the Classics
Sala Equis is drawing Madrileños to the new hub with a heady mix of cinematic, gastronomic, theatrical, and live experiences. Once an amphitheatre that accommodated 300 of the capital’s adult film thrill seekers, Sala Equis (equis means X in Spanish) still retains its classic loucheness (wink, wink) by way of deep velvets (the seats are brand-new, of course) and suggestive red lighting. A 64-seat cinema fitted with top-notch sound and projection system screens plays everything from art house cinema and documentaries to classic films like The Life of Brian. The once-seedy auditorium is now occupied by a high-vaulted space with plants that bring the outdoors in. The acoustics lend to concerts and cultural performances, while the restaurant provides diners with delicious fare that satiates appetites.
Erotic Cinema Turns Club | Putting on a Show
The former sex cinema-turned live entertainment venue is illuminated during the day by the rooftop skylight. On the screen outdoors, which still retains its original location, a film is always projected. During the week, the club comes alive with other activities, especially live music. Tucked under the screen is a bar with a small kitchen.The seating has been arranged together in the fashion of a small public square; all those who visit are presented with a number of options: stands made of plywood board, fixed benches of iron pipe and cushions, hammocks of pine and canvas, and swings. Where illicit encounters may have once defined this gorgeous space, an intimate cocktail bar allows patrons to hang out in a different fashion, still adult, yet not so shady.