JOIN OUR CLUB!!!
Register here as a new member if you want to be advised by e-mail on new updates, and take your FREE WELCOME GIFTS.
Adrià Gual (1872-1943), dramaturge, director, actor, pedagogue, scene director, painter and theorist, also collaborated as from the first moment with Graner, preparing the editing of the first “Musical vision”, which went into premiere the day of the inauguration of the Sala Mercè on November 4th 1904-. With music of Joaquín Grant and song text by Manuel Folch i Torres, and under the title “Montserrat”, the spectacle began with projections of the silhouette of the mythical mountain and ended with the image of the “Virgen de la Moreneta”, patroness of Catalonia, which legendary origins are situated in the Santa Cueva of this mountain.
The inauguration of the hall was foreseen for Saturday October 29th 1904, however it got postponed until Thursday November 4th at 5 PM. Its audience was “highly aristocratic and select, with among the spectators the gubernator as well as the most distinguished families”, as said by an article in La Vanguardia of the same day, recollected by Antoni González in the catalogue of the exhibition “Gaudí i Verdaguer”, Barcelona 2002, p. 19.
The spectacles on the program of the Sala Mercè were projected with rigor and sensibility and offered high quality. Baldelló says: “The lyrical sense of the final spectacle was outstanding. Beside, it reproduced the theme of some popular songs or historical facts written explicitly by the best poets and musicians”. The most important authors of those days, such as the poet Josep Carner, presented some of their works in this hall. Soon Lluís Graner founded the company “Espectáculos y Audiciones Graner” and started to exhibit theatre performances in the Teatro Principal of Barcelona, where “La Santa Espina” by dramaturge Àngel Guimerà went into premiere, and where concerts were presented by Casals, Malats, Granados and Paderewski. However, soon the project accumulated debts and ended up ruining the sala Mercè.
On April 23rd 1908 the last activity was programmed in the Caverns.
Gaudí incorporates the concept of the caves in many of his works. Besides the caverns of the Sala Mercè, we also find references of natural caves in Park Güell, the shelters with stalactites of the principal façade of the Colonia Güell church, the Belen of the Birth Façade of the Sagrada Familia Temple, or even the First Mystery of Gloria of the Rosario Monumental of Montserrat, which the architect located in a cave in the mountain. However, it is also important to underline the tendency of those days to incorporate the shapes of caves in similar spectacle halls. For instance, the Electro-Cinemágico, inaugurated in calle Caspe almost at the same time as Sala Mercè, also simulated a cavern.
The Sala Mercè was inaugurated on November 4th 1904 and has functioned as a movie theatre from 1909 until 1913. Some years later it would become the “Atlàntic Cinema” (1936-1939) and finally the Cine Atlántico, active until 1987. The building was smashed in 1988 in order to construct the Hotel Citadines.