Cinema Tuschinski Theatre
Tuschinski Theatre in Amsterdam is a cinema with an elegant interior – Art Deco with strong Art Nouveau influences. The interior is imposing; dark wooden walls rich in stylish carvings. Art Deco lamps spread a diffuse yellow light. The huge auditorium with two big balconies seems to be more suited for opera than for film. Lean back in the plush chairs and watch your favourite movie. Red-carpet first nights take place in Tuschinski when limousines drop off celebrities while movie lovers watch.
Art Deco mixed with Art Nouveau
When Polish born Abraham Tuschinski opened his variety theatre in Amsterdam in 1921, he was instantly successful. Until then, movie cinemas were dark places. The new Tuschinski theatre showed a wondrous mix of Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Amsterdam School architecture. Squares and rectangles grace the façade. Tiffany-style windows, garlands and curvy iron lamps are eye-catchers. This landmark building is all glamour and glitter inside and out. It attracted large audiences and famous artists such as Marlene Dietrich and Judy Garland.
During German occupation from 1940 – 1945, the theatre was renamed Tivoli. On Sunday mornings, there were special programmes for the German forces. Abraham Tuschinski was deported to Auschwitz and was killed in 1942. After the war, the theatre was renovated several times. In 1984 Moroccan carpet makers remade the entire cinema carpet using the same material as the old one.
Another renovation took place from 1998 and 2002 during which lost murals were discovered and restored. An annex was added with three more screens and modern cinema equipment replaced the old projectors. Today, Tuschinski, part of the Pathé Group, features three screening rooms in the old building and twelve in the new annex. The main auditorium seats 740 and includes love-seats and private boxes. Cinema goers in these boxes can order wine or other drinks and snacks to be served in their box. Movies are shown in the original version with Dutch subtitles.
Photo credit Marianne Crone