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Visitors to Amsterdam may have spotted an unconventionally shaped structure jutting out from the city’s northern shore. This colossal building is called EYE Film museum and contains several outstanding cinematographic initiatives. Its upper floors lead onto four modern movie theaters that are enclosed within the EYE’s east-facing spire. Whereas, the lower part of the museum houses a vast collection of movie memorabilia. EYE stages three to four temporary exhibitions per year dedicated to specific cinematographers and models its film agenda around Amsterdam’s cultural calendar.
There’s something exceptionally nostalgic about the Movies, which might be partly due to its 100 year tenure. The cinema opened its doors in 1912 and appears to have been frozen in time ever since. Its interior harks back to a bygone era of cinematography and captures the sense of comfort and elegance that enticed moviegoers in the early twentieth century. Large parts of its foyer are draped in red velvet, while most of the Movies’ fixtures and furnishings are veritable antiques. Its program usually sticks to art house cinema but also regularly features left-field blockbusters.
The Movies, Haarlemmerdijk 161, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, +31 20 638 6016
Kriterion is a student-run cinema that exclusively employs young adults that are still enrolled at University. The theatre is steeped in history and was used by the Dutch resistance as a safe-house during World War II. Today, the cinema remains operational and houses a popular bar alongside its four screening rooms. Kriterion is actually situated right next to the University of Amsterdam’s Social Science faculty, and after school hours regularly attracts large crowds of students.
Kriterion, Roetersstraat 170, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, +31 20 623 1708
This cinema is part of a large cultural organization called de Hallen that is located inside a renovated tram service station. This building is an incredible feat of design and engineering that represents the height of Dutch functionalism. The cinema has nine screening rooms and presents independent, classic and mainstream movies. Its worth spending some time exploring de Hallen before heading to the cinema, as the building also contains the largest indoor food market in Amsterdam.
De Hallen, Hannie Dankbaarpassage, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, +31 20 705 8164
Culture in Amsterdam-West revolves around Westergasfabriek. This enormous complex was originally used as a power plant and most of its buildings were designed according to Dutch Neo-Renaissance aesthetics. Today, it has been converted into a vast cultural site that features several bars, restaurants and venues. Bioscoop het Ketelhuis is on the eastern side of Westergasfabriek and is contained within a structure that was formally used to boil large quantities of water.