History of IDEAL

Poblenou Historical Archive

In 1917 the Cine Ideal was opened, one of the most important cinemas of the neighbourhood in Barcelona and popularly known as “El Rellis or El Rellisquín”, after the old roller skating rink that was one of the first offers of leisure for the working class of the neighbourhood.

In 1920, according to plans by architect Manuel Joaquim Raspall y Mayol, the premises were enlarged to accommodate 2,600 spectators in an area of 2,500 square metres.

In 1928, the Ideal Cinema was acquired by the Cinematográfica Nacional Española Sociedad Anónima (CINAES). During these years and during the Second Republic, political events were held, organised both by organisations and by the parties themselves.

During the 1970s, the cinema was acquired by the company of Pedro Balañá, owner of many cinemas in Barcelona, which meant modernising the centre to adapt the design of the building to the new times. In the mid-20th century, this cinema was an important place of popular entertainment, where queues formed in front of the building on weekends, so that some spectators had to watch the movies standing up. The cinema, with its more than 2500 seats, was in operation until May 13, 1984, when it closed its doors with the screening of the films Psicosis II and Paco lo seguro.

On July 15, 1985, on the initiative of the Institute of Cinema in Catalan, Balañá and Gilbert López Atalaya, it was reopened and converted into a recording studio called Ideal Studios, which has since been rented by TV3, where a variety of TV series and programmes have been filmed, such as La Palmera, Tres i l’astrologer, Lo Cartanyà, Quite Barça and Polònia, among others.


In 2019, this emblematic building opens its doors again to continue explaining and telling new stories. In this new phase, IDEAL aims to become the future of cinemas and museums. A place where art, technology and science come together to create new audiovisual content where the viewer is the protagonist.


The space

At IDEAL you can find experiences for all ages, in addition the center has a variety of activities and specialized learning programs for each type of public (kids, older, families, sectoral public, students,…)

The center has almost 2000 m2 dedicated to the exhibition, production and training of digital immersive arts. The main floor has 1500 m2: 800m2 for large format exhibitions, and also 3 multipurpose spaces to produce diverse acts and experiences.
On the second floor there are the offices and the artists in residency space, since IDEAL is also a center focused on developing local talent to create its own productions.

IDEAL, based in Barcelona, is the first center in south Europe to be dedicated to the production and exhibition of digital arts. With special emphasis in the immersive digital art, it’s a unique space that combines production of audiovisual works in diverse formats, exhibition and training in this area.

This emblematic building of the old neighborhood of “La Plata”, opens its doors again in 2019 to become the future of museums and cinemas. IDEAL is a center dedicated to digital culture, with a unique technological equipment in Spain, that experiments with immersivity by using audiovisual projections, augmented reality and holography to create a new relationship between
art and society.

Fiction and Memory
1917 - 2019

The inhabitants of El Poblenou describe the IDEAL as a public space where life ignores its own identity … “Such a large and elegant cinema in a rather miserable industrial town” …, as a place where El Poblenou ceases to be a neighborhood “where nobody lived to be one full of people, where everything happened “…

Documentary on the history of IDEAL programmed as part of the Loop Bcn Festival

A project by




With the support of

Official transport company