Pop up stores seem to be, well, popping up everywhere in Madrid. A trend that had its moment in the U.S a few years ago, is now catching on in the Spanish capital. And at a time when it is virtually impossible to open a small business and survive; artisans, boutique owners, and even cinemas are opting for the more pocket-friendly and mass-drawing option of the pop-up store. As temperatures rise, there are a few ephemeral spots that will only be around this summer…
Mahou has taken over the Palacio de Santa Barbara
once again with its multi-concept pop up. Part terrace, part shop, part gallery, part market, this is the biggest and one of the most popular pop-up stores to open in Madrid. Also known as Manzana Mahaou 330
, it favours the kitsch and quirky, with a gallery dedicated to up-and-coming contemporary artists and a boutique full of small, artisanal brands. Their terrace offers a copious and lip-smacking brunch on Sundays and gluten-free treats every other day of the week. And since the green movement is also making its sweep through the city, the fresh foods market is all organic, bio, and eco-friendly. As if that weren’t enough, they also host free creative workshops like stencil lettering.
While air-conditioning is always appreciated, there is something special about watching an old movie outdoors. I didn’t grow up with drive-ins or screenings in the park, so instead turn to the big-city-alternatives, which usually pop up in main squares, on a rooftop terrace or under a canopy. This summer Madrid has more than one option for outdoor cinema. El Cuartel by City Lights
takes place in the central plaza of old civil guards barracks, that have been under renovation since 1983 and now house the Centro Cultural Conde Duque
. Its program is varied and favours all genres, from musicals to horror to comedy. Another summer pop-up is The Cinema
, in the old central post office building, Palacio de Cibeles
. They have a screening every night from Tuesday to Sunday in their “crystal gallery” – a stone-paved square that looks up to the beautiful Madrid sky through a glass roof. If you’re in the mood for good ol’ classics like Grease, The Godfather and Some Like It Hot, then this is the open air cinema for you. For indie screenings, cult flicks or foreign films, La Casa Encendida
has a unique series of both movies and talks for the curious and culturally aware. Every Saturday night through August, sit on their rooftop terrace looking over the bustling barrio de Lavapies and enjoy something you wouldn’t see anywhere else.