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Final phase of iconic Astoria cinema demolition begins

Calle Victoria was reduced to one lane for the works.
Calle Victoria was reduced to one lane for the works. / S. Salas
  • It will take eight days to take down the cinema beside Plaza de la Merced in Malaga which has been vacant for the past 15 years

After years of disuse, the final phase of the demolition of the iconic Astoria cinema beside Plaza de la Merced in Malaga city got under way on Thursday morning.

The cinema, which had originally been earmarked by Antonio Banderas as the location of his theatre project for the city (instead it will open in the Soho area in November), has been abandoned for the past 15 years as authorities squabbled over what to do with it.

In the end it was the possibility of archaeological remains below the site which put paid to the Banderas project and once the demolition is complete, the site will remain closed while archaeological teams survey the area.

One possible use of the land, pending the results, is a project drawn up by a Cordoba company for a new cultural and hospitality building featuring an underground auditorium.

Demolition work, which has been given a budget of more than 260,000 euros, first started in September with the manual removal of items from inside the building and its cleaning. This final phase is expected to last eight days due to the large amount of rubble and to minimise disruption to the surrounding area which is frequented by large numbers of tourists.