The Role of Theatre Venues in the Transformation of Barcelona
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The relationship between theaters and performing arts has been rather neglected in the study of cities’ evolution. In most cases, the theaters were initially located in the historical center or in relatively marginal albeit easily accessible areas. With the growth and expansion of the cities, however, these facilities followed different patterns compared to other cultural venues. In the case of Barcelona, the venues dedicated to the performing arts have had a similar evolution to its urban growth. From the historic center and the traditional Paral·lel Avenue, they were spread around by Cerdà’s Eixample as the city grew. In the 1980s this pattern changed. On the one hand some of the theaters have suffered a recentralization. On the other hand, the spaces dedicated to the performing arts, in a broad sense, have moved to other areas of the city. Artists have also been a decisive factor for the creation and evolution of theatres, especially in some districts such as Gràcia, el Raval or Montjuïc. Beyond the traditional cultural activities, these new theaters have and an important impact in the city generating economic synergies and intangible assets. First, they generate ancillary enterprises that produce services for performing arts in some non-central urban areas. Second, as magnets for spectators, these facilities create symbolic values with a beneficial effect on the regeneration of urban areas.