Not only is the giant and opulent Tuschinski cinema with its unique décor one of Amsterdam's favourite buildings - it is also easily one of the most beautiful picture theatres in the world. It was built in 1921 by the Jewish tailor Abraham Icek Tuschinski, an immigrant from Poland. According to Tuschinski, only the best people, ideas and materials were used in the construction, which is probably why both the façade and the interior feature a successful blend of styles - largely determined by Tuschinski's personal taste. The architecture is a mixture of Art Deco, Neo-Gothics and the Amsterdam School; the imposing façade is adorned on both sides by tall towers. Art Deco and Art Nouveau rub shoulders in the decor of the cinema. The main lobby is an imposing, magnificent and sombre dominated by red and gold; the walls are covered with dark wood panels, glazed tiles, bronze elements and paintings of birds of paradise and peacocks. The lobby is lit by large yellow Art Deco lamps; the floor is covered by hand-made Moroccan carpeting. The sophisticated main auditorium, almost as opulent as an opera hall, is equally impressive; it is sometimes lovingly referred to as „the Prune Cake" and „Old Lady's Chocolate Box". The adjacent rooms originally housed La Gaité cabaret, a Japanese teashop and some Moor-style rooms; today they have all been converted into small auditoria. Passages were designed not only to connect different rooms but also to ensure the privacy of the guests. During the war Tuschinski and his Jewish family perished in concentration camps; the cinema was re-named Tivoli. After the war, the theatre regained its old name and enjoyed a second golden age, often hosting concerts and shows which featured stars like Judy Garland, Marlene Dietrich and Édith Piaf. In the late 20th century and the early noughties the movie theatre underwent a series of reconstruction works aimed at giving the place back its original interior in the smallest of details; the cinema was also equipped with the latest film projection technology and an extension housing three additional auditoria was constructed. Today, the main auditorium seats 740, including on sofas and in private boxes were wine and snacks are served. Pathé Tuschinski is the exclusive venue for all red-carpet film events and premieres in Amsterdam.
Keywords: cinema, Amsterdam