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El Molino in Barcelona

Lovers of Moulin Rouge style burlesque theater will be thrilled to find that the atmosphere of the Parisian cabaret is recreated in Barcelona’s stellar El Molino. The signature windmill design on the front of the edifice is immediately reminiscent of the famous Moulin Rouge, and in fact, when it changed ownership in 1908, it was even called the Petit Moulin Rouge. The red windmill, however, didn’t make an appearance until 1929, when it was added to help the building stand out from similar surrounding establishments.


The history of the building in fact dates back for over 100 years, to 1898 when it opened under the name Catalan Aviary and was used as a performance space. It carried on under that name until it was sold in 1908 and began operating under the name Petit Moulin Rouge.

For many years, the Petit Moulin Rouge operated in the Parallel area of Barcelona – an area distinguished by its many French styled cabarets and nightclubs. For years, the club was known as the Moulin Rouge of Barcelona; however, when the Civil War ended and the Spanish “nacionales” came into power, any “Frencified” name was obliterated from buildings and businesses. Thus, the name was changed to El Molino.

Throughout the 1940s, 50s, 60s, and 70s El Molino enjoyed huge popularity in Barcelona, thanks to its uniquely liberal flair, blatant eroticism and grand, decadent luxury. Legendary artists graced its stage, including such stellar performers as Mary Mistral, Lander and Leanna, Yvette Rene, and Gardenia Pulido. In the 1980s the theater hosted artists like Amparo Moreno, Lita Claver and Merche Mar.

Unfortunately, poor economic choices and changing tastes led to the decline of El Molino, beginning in the late 1960s. Though the burlesque club struggled on for a handful of decades, it was forced to close its doors for good on the 14th of November, 1997.

Most folks assumed that El Molino was gone for good; however thanks to the investment of the Ociopuro Company, the building has been completely rebuilt and restored to new glory. The new and improved El Molino opened its doors in October of 2010, and while the building’s front still boasts the signature red windmill, the inside has been completely made over.

The renovation succeeded in recreating the original atmosphere that so many loved in the old Petit Moulin Rouge, yet they have added a bevy of new features that have modernized and professionalized the establishment immensely. The structure now contains dressing rooms, rehearsal rooms, an underground kitchen, warehouses, and more. The overall décor is certainly reminiscent of the old establishment; however, it also be changed to meet the need. The third floor now boasts an excellent cocktail bar and terrace called the Golden Bar.

A whole new series of artists are flocking to perform on the stage of El Molino, and Barcelonans love the new venue. On September 6, El Molino returns from its summer hiatus. If you’re passing through Barcelona, this is not a spot to miss. Stop in to catch a taste of old Paris with Catalan flair while you enjoy some excellent drinks and tapas.

For more information, please click on the following link: http://www.elmolinobcn.com/


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