A jewel of Lleida's Modernisme

Its successive architectural reforms have respected the Modernista origins of this catalogued building, turning it into a cultural facility for all Lleida's inhabitants.

Today CaixaForum Lleida occupies the building of the old Viñes cinema, a property located in the city's historical centre and included in its historical artistic catalogue. Inaugurated on 4th May 1919, this Modernista-style building, designed by architect Francesc de Paula Morera Gatell, was built as the new headquarters for the Catholic Youth organisation, which is why its main façade has, at the top, the epigraph AMDG (Ad Maiorem Dei Gloria).

Constructed on a site in Avenida de Blondel which had previously held the offices of Eléctrica del Cinca, most of the new building was devoted to a variety hall, a sumptuous theatre richly ornamented with capacity for 300 seats. When it opened its doors, at that time under the name of Teatro Viñes in homage to the famous performer from Lleida who came from Paris especially to inaugurate it, the theatre used to hold concerts, plays and especially film projections, thereby becoming one of the best and most comfortable movie theatres in the city, coinciding with the Golden Age of classic silent films.

Over the years the theatre, which in 1928 changed its name to Cine Viñes, became one of the city's historic cinemas, among those select entertainment venues which multiplied in this district of Lleida for more than half a century around the intersection between Carrer Major and Carrer Cavallers, in the image of and similar to the Paral·lel area in Barcelona. Sound came to film in 1932 and Cine Viñes enjoyed a second Golden Age after the Spanish Civil War, although it survived the last few decades of its life by showing old films, finally closing in 1978.

Subsequently, after years of lying vacant, in 1985 the property was bought by Montepío with the aim of increasing its offices but finally, after an extensive transformation that restored its two elegant façades, five years later it became the Cultural Centre of "la Caixa" Foundation.