Bars for film buffs

Six bars to get you in the mood for film night, and the perfect settings for post-film critiquing



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Charlot cafè

Charlot cafè

Are you among those who queue up for the premiere of a new film? Do you frequent the Filmoteca and wait anxiously to see your favourite classic on the big screen? Whether you're a fan of imported blockbusters or your tastes are more of the independent and experimental variety, these bars are the place you can all come together before (or after) your helping of popcorn.

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Polaroid Bar

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice

ET stares at you through watery eyes, Spain's answer to the spandex-clad Jane Fonda of aerobics, Eva Nasarre, is a bit spunkier, Cyndi Lauper is caught in a moment of paint-swatch joy, and from the sound system blasts a big-hair ballad. This is the kind of place that makes you remember why you took up karate, hoping for a sensei like Mr Miyagi, it make you sure you can solve that Rubik's Cube if you only had another shot, it makes you want to see 'Back to the Future' again, for the first time. Yes, the Polaroid Bar is a shrine to the 1980s, paying tribute to those snapshots with the little white frame. Vinyl, VHS tapes and those famous cameras cover the dimly lit walls. The bar area boasts

  1. Còdols, 29, Gòtic, 08002
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V.O.s Bar

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice

A bar within a cinema could easily take first prize in a melancholy competition. When a screen is so close, anything else that comes into view is lackluster. The red is not as red as it is up on the big screen. There's nothing like that heat. No fluorescent has the intensity of a Kariusmäki film, nor is a girl's smile as slow and intimate. Life wants to look like a movie, and it has no idea how. The V.O.s Bar, though it's not part of any film, leaves the same taste in your mouth, perhaps because, without realising it, they built it right near the ashes of the old Astoria Cinema. All the elements in the space dressed in black and white and black, when empty, are like so many melting frames

  1. París, 200, Eixample Esquerre, 08008
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Charlot Cafè

This charming café with a French name is not what it seems. It has a privileged location in the Eixample, skipping distance from the Cines Aribau. You cross the threshold into the usual room decorated with the images of classic Hollywood divas: Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, Rita Hayworth ... But they also do full meals for around  at prices around €10 euros, and they make quite the refreshing cocktail. It's also not just a place for the quiet, glamorous classics: Tarentino fans will find 'Pulp Fiction' and 'Reservoir Dogs' have their own little corner where they can be worshipped. And don't forget to try the coffee: it's the makings of your own great love story.

  1. Aribau, 67, Antiga Esquerra de l'Eixample, 08011
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  • Price band: 1/4

Who can forget the film this diner takes its name from, with Dustin Hoffman in drag? We have Hollywood to thank for that, as well as for showing us their big-screen version of an authentic American diner, something this Barcelona-based Tootsie aspires to. Here the lengthy menu of burgers and sandwiches conjure big American appetites and all-American film, but with a taste of the local fare as well: order a Burt Lancaster burger with tartar sauce and a tapa of pig snout or 'lacón' on the side.

  1. Calàbria, 29, Sant Antoni, 08015
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Bar Filmax

Bar Filmax is in a street that would make the perfect backdrop for a cop film, with its natural setting of urine-streaked walls and picked-over rubbish bins, and women asking the few passers-by for a date. If any love could be found here, it would be the kind dreamt of by Fassbinder or Kubrick in a bad mood. Bar Filmax is its own scene. Black-and-white photos of Liz Taylor, Antonio Banderas and Cameron Diaz are stuck to the glass of the front door. Propped up at the bar are men who seek style in the shape of the short-brimmed hats of their grandsons, while in a corner mothers and daughters celebrate a birthday. A woman in the middle of the bar holds up two lottery tickets and announces

  1. Robadors, 48, Raval
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Can Josep

The mystery within the walls of Can Josep, behind a bog-standard aluminium door in the Eixample is the kind of Dionysian celebrations. According to its calling card, Can Josep serves up good food. Piquillo peppers stuffed with brandade, tinned snails, chorizo ​​in cider, and a long wine list. Keeping you company as you wine and dine are the likes of velvet-clad and darkly lipsticked Ava Gardner, Anita Ekberg, Kim Novak and Sophia Loren.

  1. Roger de Flor, 237, Gràcia, 08025
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