When Franco wanted Spain to be unilingual, he implemented a strict regime of banning other languages including dialects from his own country, dubbing anything and everything international. The reason behind this was to facilitate propaganda and keep a stronger control over the people. You would think that this would have changed by now, but no, the Spanish would actually choose a dubbed movie over its original version. It comes as no surprise then that Spain ranks with the lowest levels of English in Europe (according to this years English Proficiency Index 2017) compared to the Scandinavian countries with the highest level. These countries never dub… maybe we’re onto something here.
Anyway, it’s not just that dubbing is detrimental to the evolution of bilingualism in Spain, but it also just sounds terrible.
Rather that listening to the person you’re watching, you’re listening to the voice of an actor, recording lines in a booth, and sticking that audio on top of someone’s mouth, and not very well either. This can be more distracting than anything, and it takes you out of the moment and movie. Do I really want to watch a film constantly being reminded that it’s a dub every time someone’s mouth movements don’t match what they’re saying.
Films should be watched in Original Version with subtitles if necessary. You don’t listen to a Rihanna song that’s being dubbed in another language just because ‘you don’t understand the lyrics’…
So anyway, here are LocoWeekend’s favourite Original version Cinemas in Madrid.
RENOIR Princesa Calle de la Princesa, 3
Metro: Plaza de España / Ventura Rodriguez
If you’re looking for obscure small foreign films, thelatest block bluster, or even old remastered movies, Renoir is the place. They tend to have 5 to 6 movies on offer at one time, but they do change quite regularly. Price range is 6 euros, with cheap Wednesdays. Price around 7 Euros.
IDEAL Yelmo Calle del Dr Cortezo, 6
Metro: Tirso de Molina
The premise is one of the oldest theatre/cinemas in Madrid, built in 1912, it’s been through 3 major refurbishments and redecorations, most notably when purchased by the Spanish Cinema Giants Yelmo in 1990. Here you will find all the latest big movies, the rooms are quite sizeable considering how central it is.
VERDI Calle de Bravo Murillo, 28
This chain is most famous in Barcelona and other cities around Spain. Here you will find them at Bravo Murillo.This is the best one for obscure movies, documentaries, indie flicks, mostly foreign. Price around 6 euros, and more expensive at night.
If you’re more interesting in showings of old classic movies in an unconventional setting, then check out our related articles.