For a small city, Amsterdam has a multitude of cinemas. You’ll find tiny, canal house-cinemas screening independent films just as easily as a big blockbuster. We narrowed down the choice to eight of the city’s most interesting cinemas.*
A historic venue, The Movies
Amsterdam's veteran, Art Deco cinema, The Movies
With its retro red sign and light bulb-lit marquee, The Movies is a tiny, Art Deco cinema that’s been drawing in punters since 1912. Bordering the historic Jordaan neighbourhood, this nostalgic venue screens mainly art house cinema and small cult movies, alongside the odd, carefully-selected blockbuster. The thick, soft red carpet, matching velvet upholstery and wooden bar and restaurant create an olde worlde feel; make an evening of it by having a meal or drink after the film. Stay at the Hotel Il Fiore, and enjoy an 8-minute walk home through some of Amsterdam’s prettiest canals.
A futuristic cinema, EYE Film Institute
A futuristic cinema perched on the river Ij
A futuristic, white and angular architectural masterpiece, perched on the edge of the river Ij, EYE is a film museum as well as a cinema, with the lower floors housing an impressive collection of movie memorabilia and several exhibitions hosted each year. Get there via the free, 2-minute ferry from Amsterdam Centraal. Right next to the Eye, Sir Adam Hotel is located in the new A'DAM tower, overlooking all of Amsterdam.
An atmospheric cinema, Filmhallen
Filmhallen is a laid-back, local favourite
In a renovated former tram shed (old tram tracks still run through the concrete outside), Filmhallen is a local favourite that’s equally welcoming to tourists. Its high ceilings and French brasserie decor comes into its own in winter; a glass of red wine in a warmly-lit booth followed by a film is particularly appealing when it’s cold outside. Right next door you’ll find Foodhallen, a covered street food market with a fantastic gin bar for a pre- or post-film G&T. Stay at the super fashionable, Hotel De Hallen, or the more budget-friendly Hotel Larende.
A beautiful cinema, Pathé Tuschinski
Pathé Tuschinski hosts most of Amsterdam's film premieres and festivals
Though these days it’s owned by the Pathé chain, the Tuschinski movie theatre is a historic Amsterdam building. It was commissioned in 1921 by Dutch Jewish businessman, Abraham Icek Tuschinski, and was designed by architect Hijman Louis de Jong in an eclectic mix of styles. Combining Art Nouveau, Art Deco and the Amsterdam School of architecture, it’s a complex and exquisite structure that was made in one piece in Morocco and flown to the Netherlands whole. Its colourful exterior with towers and stained glass, and grand, carpeted foyer have made it the go-to location for Amsterdam’s film premieres and festivals. Treat yourself to a night or two at the celebrated, luxury, waterfront hotel, L'Europe Amsterdam, or opt for the more budget-friendly, modern Guest House Citydrop.
A student-run cinema, De Uitkijk
An avant-garde cinema run by local students
Founded by a society of film buffs in 1929, De Uitkijk is a on one of Amsterdam’s main 17th-century canals, Prinsengracht. Its interior is all updated 20s-style decor, with red velvet seats and personal tables and lamps. Completely student-run, it champions avant-garde, independent cinema, as well as a regularly-updated programme of special events, including themed screenings and Friday night cult or modern classics, lit only by candles. In an 18th-century canal house, Dikker en Thijs Fenice is a highly rated hotel a 1-minute walk from De Uitkijk.
A variety of genres, Lab 111
The Lab 111 cinema building used to be a pathological anatomy laboratory
In Amsterdam’s Oud West area, Lab 111 is a cinema housed in a former pathological anatomy laboratory, giving it an industrial appearance and lots of space. Screenings include animated features, documentaries, comedies, horror films and more. The cinema also hosts film festivals, has its own restaurant and bar, vegetable gardens, beehives and an overall friendly, low-key attitude. In an old townhouse with statement floral wallpaper and modern furnishings, Hotel Heye 130 is just a few minutes’ walk from Lab 111.
A cinema/nightclub hybrid, Studio/K
Studio/K turns into a nightclub once the screenings are over
Studio/K is a truly creative, community-oriented space, decorated in the style of a creative family home, with lots of comfy chairs, plants and a lovely outside seating area. Alongside screenings of a mix of big blockbusters, independent and Dutch films, the cinema hosts Sunday markets, jazz nights, art exhibitions and even club nights. The Stayokay Amsterdam Zeeburg has affordable private rooms and dormitory accommodation right next door to Studio/K.
**In Holland, English and foreign language films are always subtitled in Dutch and never dubbed.