Demolition of iconic Malaga cinemas is given the go-ahead by the Junta

  • The authorisation does not include the archaeological excavation planned by the town hall

The Junta de Andalucía has given the green light for the demolition of the old Astoria and Victoria cinemas in the surroundings of Plaza de la Merced in Malaga.

The demolition will enable the town hall to finish the archaeological excavations that have been started inside the Astoria.

The archaeological findings will decide whether they can go ahead with building an underground auditorium with various floors above for cultural use dedicated to the Fundación Picasso. There will also be spaces for restaurants and other businesses.

The budget for the demolition is set at 413,790 euros and work to pull down the buildings is expected to take about two months although it is unlikely to start until spring next year.

The archaeological survey to find out what lies beneath the Astoria has still not been authorised. The 'preventative' dig which will go down five metres, will cost 346,685 euros and will take five months to complete.

Remains already uncovered under the buildings were documented in 2007 and 2008 and will be protected during the demolition process with a layer of gravel.

Once demolition works are finished the archaeological remains will have an opaque covering.