On my summer holiday I visited the charming Dutch capital Amsterdam and there I had the chance to enter one of the most beautiful movie theatres I have ever seen. The Pathé Tuschinski Cinema, located in the centre of Amsterdam, really looks like something out of a gothic novel. My instant reaction was that it didn’t matter what movie we saw, as long as I would get to go inside this palace like theatre.
The Tuschinski cinema was created by Polish immigrant Abraham Icek Tuschinski and opened to the public in 1921. Its interior as well as the facade is an overwhelming mixture of art deco architecture and jugende style details. Especially the foyer has amazing details of lamps and wall decorations. Even the door handles and carpets are special.
The Tuschinski as a piece of historyThere are several auditoriums in the Tuschinski cinema. The main one has room for 1200 people and was designed to also work also as a theatre stage. Originally it had an orchestra of 16 instruments to accompany the performances. And in its time the Tuschinski has been visited by such glamorous stars as Edith Piaf, Marlene Detrich and Josephine Baker.
It is not only in art and entertainment history that the Tuschinski cinema has a legacy. The personal tragedy of founder Abraham Tuscheski connects the cinema to another and graver part of world history. During the Nazi occupation of Holland in 1940-45 Mr. Tuschinski and most of his family was killed in German concentration camps. The cinema was then given the non-Jewish name ‘Tivoli’, however after the war its original name back was returned.
It was not difficult to imagine myself back in the 20s and 30s as I wondered around the empty halls of the main auditorium. There are several side rooms to that work like small lounge areas all with exquisite interior. There is supposed to be a Japanese tea room there somewhere too, but I did not get to see that.
Whatever movie you are about to see in that cinema the magic of the place gets your imagination working. I only wish that more modern cinemas would be more bold when it comes to inspiring decor.