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Review: Ibiza Black Door Cinema Club

Members-only film club for the discerning viewer, 1940's red velvet curtains, an intimate speakeasy vibe, a great little bar and an exhibition space too. Welcome to Ibiza Black Door Cinema Club.

Ibiza Black Door Cinema Club, located on Calle Aragón in Ibiza Town, looks at first glance like an art gallery. Smooth white walls adorned with cool art prints greet you in the reception area, along with owner and founder, Paul Scrivener, with his list of names and a big, friendly smile. With no name outside and no clue what lies behind the 1940's crushed red velvet curtains that lie beyond reception, you could be forgiven for walking straight past this innocent looking frontage (not that we did. No, not at all).

Expecting a couple of friends, I took a seat on the thoughtfully provided comfy sofa and chatted for a while with Paul, a real film lover with a background in the music industry and London's warehouse party scene. Why a cinema club? I wanted to know.

“I just really love good films”, he explained. “I wanted to create a kind of social club too, with a bar and an exhibition space, somewhere that residents can come and socialise during the winter.”

Pulling back the mysterious curtains and walking us through to the bar area, we entered the reddest room I think I've ever seen. Retro, kitsch and faux-plush, it reminded me of old photos from the clandestine speakeasies of the 1920's. Fabulous ladies sitting at the bar, laughing and drinking wine, suited gentlemen in the corner, conversing quietly and evidently enjoying each other's company. You would not look out of place wearing a smoking jacket here, ladies and gents, with tongue, of course, very firmly in cheek. There was an air of relaxed intimacy, no doubt facilitated by the fact that this is a members only club. In winter, that means bumping into lots of amazing friends you didn't see all summer, which naturally leads to a really, genuinely warm atmosphere.

We were almost an hour early, but the bar was already lively with pre-film drinks and socialising.

What's more, the prices at the bar were very reasonable, two (large) glasses of wine, a Corona and some really, REALLY good popcorn came to €12.50. Tickets for the movie were an equally affordable €10. Winner.

I went to check out the bathroom, and wow! Audrey Hepburn graces the walls of these impeccable facilities, as do a pair of disembodied mannequin legs. Fake roses adorn the loo-roll. A quirky sense of humour was emerging as a theme. Even better was to note that the bathroom was fully adapted for wheelchair users.

“I got all the seating secondhand - the nice big comfy chairs in the cinema came from the old Hotel Don Toni,” confided Paul, which, as many of you will know, is now the Hard Rock Hotel. “I recycled the rest of the interior from San Jordi market,” he grinned, looking pleased to be surrounded by authentic bits of Ibiza history.

After a couple of drinks and bumping into a few friends, we went through to the main cinema room. The dignified and upcycled Don Toni chairs were fantastically comfortable, I curled up in mine and coat arranged as an impromtu blanket, without any annoying adverts or trailers, the film began.

On the programme that night was Map to the Stars, a darkly satirical drama from Canadian director David Cronenberg, responsible for cult classics such as The Fly and Crash. Famous for his treatment of ‘body horror,' this film was classic Cronenberg, with a badly scarred protagonist, Agatha played brilliantly by Mia Wasikowska and a liberal sprinkling of dead bodies and scandalous behaviour.

The plot was excellent, unfolding gradually with plenty of unpleasant surprises, the cinematography sensitive and sophisticated. As for the acting, Julianne Moore won (and quite rightly so) an award for best actress at Cannes on the strength of her performance in this challenging, disturbing probe beneath the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. Check out the trailer.

The film was excellent. And I assure you, generally allergic to the usual kind of Hollywood blurgh, I'm not that easy to please. But this was a very well chosen piece. Biting, brutal and stark at times, it's a film for discerning types and those interested in what can lie below the surface shimmer of that all-hallowed idea of fame and fortune.

And it's not just about the films, dear reader. From December 5th, Black Door Cinema Club will also be hosting Scott Gray's (aka DJ Chapter) first Ibiza exhibition of art prints along with next season's brand new tee-shirt and scarf designs. You'd normally have to travel to London's West Bank Gallery to see Scott's work so this is great news for fans of his creations. Whilst the exhibition will be on display from Friday 5th, Saturday December 6th from 2-8pm will be an open day and everyone is invited along to check out the funky threads and edgy street art of this resident Ibiza artist.

Conclusion? An absolutely cracking night out. If you're going to be in Ibiza this winter, faff not! Make yourself a member of Ibiza Black Door Cinema Club right now, it's really very cool.

WORDS | Jane Charilaou PHOTOS | Jane Charilaou

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