The Cappuccino Group has processed the change of use for the La Protectora building in central Palma and is planning to turn it into commercial premises, which it says “will give life to the street and be very good for the city.”
The property dates back to 1869 and way back then it was famous for its glamorous carnival balls when the rooms and walls were decorated with beautiful fabrics and flowers and the orchestra played all night long.
It became the headquarters of a Mutual Aid Society with family doctors, specialists and practitioners and had around 16,500 members. La Protectora took care of the social life of its members as well as their health and organised dances, excursions, concerts, plays and film screenings.
The building was renovated by Municipal Architect Gaspar Bennàssar in 1928, but after the Civil War, carnivals and celebrations were banned and La Protectora’s social calendar ground to a halt.
For many years it was used as a DNI issuing centre, then in the 1940s the La Protector theatre was converted into a cinema. In 1966 it was renamed Cine Jaime III and screened S-category films.
The La Protectora company was dissolved in 1993 and the building was converted once more, housing a gym, the El Club restaurant and a squash court.
The iconic building has been closed for more than a decade and was owned by the Society for the Management of Assets from Bank Restructuring, aka ‘the bad bank’ until 2016 when it was bought by the Cappuccino Group.
Cappuccino is determined to take the 2,700 square metre building back to its roots by demolishing most of its interior and leaving two floors with high ceilings, like it used to be 130 years ago.
The Cappuccino Group will manage part of the remodelled building and the rest will be rented to third parties, including three or four large commercial premises.
"It will be possible to install brands that require much less square metres, possibly from the Decoration and Home Sector,” said a Cappuccino Spokesperson.
La Protectora also has an attic and a vast terrace, but apparently there are no plans for an outdoor café.
La Protectora has been declared as an Asset of Cultural Interest or BIC, so the project must go through the Heritage Commission of the Consell de Mallorca and renovations will begin as soon as the permits are granted by Palma City Council.