History, Charm and Entertainment – A Night at The Movies

History, Charm and Entertainment – A Night at The Movies

Recognised as Amsterdam’s oldest operating

cinema and regarded as one of the capital’s most beloved institutions, The

Movies provides the ultimate celluloid experience for true film lovers, having

endeared audiences with its quality repertoire and charismatic setting for more

than a century.

With such a diversity of theatres scattered

throughout the city, the choice of venue for an evening of classic

entertainment is seemingly endless, ranging from the breathtaking Tuschinski to

the unique Ketelhuis

, with

the Netherlands thankfully opposing the sacrilegious practise of dubbing by

displaying all titles in their original language. With its petite entrance

located towards the close of the vibrant Haarlemmerstraat that extends west

from Amsterdam’s Central Station, incoming visitors would be forgiven for failing

to notice this inconspicuous gem, which has become my favourite locale for

indulging in memorable cinematic treats.

Deriving as a neighbourhood theatre in 1912 and

originally known as Tavenu, the film house became Cinema Hollandia two years

later, collecting the overspill from the larger venues in town. Following the

Second World War, the cinema focused primarily on the action genre, continuing

in this vein until Pieter Goedings took over in the early 70s and brought a

touch of class to proceedings. Veering towards a more artistic selection and

increasing the capacity to three screens and adding a delightful bar and

restaurant, Goedings instigated a new era for this historical theatre and

respectfully preserved the authentic art deco interior, prompting the

affectionate nickname, “Little Tuschinski”.

After several unsatisfactory occasions at

Amsterdam’s primary cinema, Pathe de Munt, which tends to disappoint with

unruly audiences that persist in chatting throughout the screening, driving me

to insanity, I decided to venture to the tiny setting I had whizzed past so

many times whilst cycling home from the centre. Knowing that independent

theatres are inclined to attract a more respectful clientele, I decided to give

it a whirl, having previously been reluctant due to the fictitious

preconceptions that The Movies showed only local films. Whilst not adverse to

the odd Dutch movie, my Nederlands was nowhere near up to scratch at that time,

so without English subtitles, the occasion would be futile. I could not have

been more wrong.

My first introduction was however

disappointing, as the film I had chosen was sold out. This apparent popularity

initially surprised me, although from stepping over the threshold, I

immediately understood the attraction as the theatre bustled with an air of

anticipation and a timeless essence of years gone by. The schedule was equally

appealing, with The Movies selecting a diverse array of genres, nationalities

and styles to cater for a wide audience, heavily influenced by the film’s

identity as opposed to box office success. By the film house’s own admission, a

large focus lies on “auteur cinema”, that is, movies that showcase a creative

stamp particular to one director. The theatre is also well known for its night

screenings and famously showed


Clockwork Orange for eight consecutive years, removing the title once the

film finally became legal in the UK.

After returning several times and always

booking my tickets online in advance, I have enjoyed numerous celluloid

classics at this charming setting, with my latest outing proving a particularly

special encounter. The occasion was Boxing Day and the film was

Life of Pi, adapted from Yann Martel’s

exquisite novel onto the big screen by Ang Lee, a true genius and a distinctive

auteur that has mesmerised audiences for two decades with an incredible variety

of narratives. The humble auditorium was completely packed and the ambience

warm and cosy, with patrons visibly, and indeed audibly, wowed by the 3D

presentation that made the awe inspiring cinematography even more spectacular.

The movie was a sensation, leaving the audience, myself included, brimming with

appreciation and after thoughts, always a sign of a great motion picture.

With such a charismatic environment and an

exceptionally worthwhile selection, The Movies makes an authentic and rewarding

option for an evening’s entertainment, and offers a range of treats for guests

visiting the capital for longer periods, such as the superb value of a pre paid

pass that offers ten showings for a mere 65 Euros. This Amsterdam institution

also promotes a unique CineMum experience, allowing parents to enjoy a movie

without the worry of upsetting others, highlighting the care and consideration

that this irresistible cinema continues to grant its adoring customers.

For more information regarding The Movies and

for a chance to purchase tickets, visit the website at