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Malaga City - Cines Astoria y Victoria

Cines Astoria y Victoria

Cines Astoria y Victoria on the east side of Plaza de la Merced. The cinema was opened on 20th January 1966. Run by the Moreno family it showed all the top billing films in the 1960s and 1970s.

The company Unión Cine Ciudad ran the cinema since the 1980's until it closed in 2004. Some would like to see the present building reformed, others resigned to demolition and the construction of another apartment block. Whilst the discussion continues, it lies derelict.

In 2006 the building was purchased by a company called Baensa for luxury apartments on the ground floor plus five storeys plus a  penthouse plus one floor for the for the town hall for the Casa Picaso Foundation. This plan was rejected by the Junta de Andalucia in 2008 as it was too high.  

Town Hall bought it in 2009 for 20m € and many ideas have been tabled since then for the site. A museum of museums, a centre for audiovisual art, enlarged space for fundacion Picasso, or leave the space open to improve the square with a view to the Alcazaba.  

In 2016 the Malaga college of Architects launched a 'concurso de ideas' (ideas competition) in which 72 projects were returned. These were anonymously reviewed and the winner was .... José Segui and Antonio Banderas. José Segui is the architect of a future skyscraper project in Malaga port. The Town hall took legal advice to check whether a full 'concurso publico' (public tender) process was needed. Although it was not, they announced one anyway. 

Mayor Rafael de la Torre said in public that the tender conditions would require a promoter with the artistic and international credentials like Antony Banderas. Opposition parties were very vocal against this 'favouritism' especially since the project required modification of planning town rules. In the end Antonio Banderas withdrew with an open letter published in Dario SUR  newspaper for being humiliated and insulted.