The Teatre Poliorama is located on the ground floor of the Reial Acadèmia de Ciències i Arts de Barcelona at number 115 La Rambla and is one of Barcelona's most popular and celebrated theatres.
Run by the production company Tres per Tres, the theatre programmes a mixture of comedy, musicals and quality straight theatre as well as the regular Barcelona flamenco show, Gran Gala Flamenco.
The Poliorama has a capacity for 705 spectators, 495 in the stalls and 210 in the circle.
One of the high points of the theatre is the sculpture or visual poem by Joan Brossa in the foyer, Rellotge il·lusori or Illusory Clock.
Rambla dels Estudis, 115
The building of the Reial Acadèmia de Ciències i Arts de Barcelona on La Ramba dels Estudis was designed by architect Josep Domènech i Estapà and opened in 1894.
The ground floor was equipped as a theatre, which would cover the costs of running the Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences, but in 1899 opened as Cine Martí, Barcelona's first cinema.
You should also note the clock on the facade, under which is written Hora Oficial or Official Time as it was first electric clock in Barcelona and the whole city set its pocket watches to it.
After showing one of the early successes of the day, Jeanne d'Arc by Georges Méliès, in 1900, Cine Martí closed in 1903 and reopened after restoration work as Cine Poliorama, which, with a capacity of 630 seats, not only showed films but also put on stage plays.
In the 1930s, the Poliorama premeriered important Catalan works such as La Rambla de les floristes by Josep Maria Segarra and in 1937, during the Spanish Civil War, the theatre was renamed the Teatre Català de la Comèdia.
During this period, the theatre only showed Catalan pieces including La fam by Joan Oliver, El casament by la Xela and El testament,
a version of the novel Xavier Benguerel, as well as works by great
Catalan dramatists, Frederic Soler, Albert Llanas, Àngel Guimerà, Ignasi
Iglesias and Santiago Rusiñol.
Also during the Civil War, the building was confiscated by the FAI-CNT and was the scene of gun battles between the CNT and POUM on one side the Stalinist PSUC on the other, which George Orwell recounts in Homage to Catalonia.
After the end of the Civil War, the building was acquired by Pedro Balañá and reopened as Cine Poliorama in 1939.
In 1963, the building was restored once again and returned to its role as part cinema and part theatre and since 1976, it has only been a theatre under the name Teatre Poliorama.
The Poliorama underwent major restoration work in 1985, when it became the premises for the Teatre Nacional de Catalunya, but since 1994, it has been run by the private production company Tres per Tres, which is partly owned by the celebrated theatre companies Dagoll Dagom and Tricicle.