This week, as part of the guest post series, we travel to the heart of Amsterdam with Keith of Velvet Escape, for a look at one of the city’s grandest structures: the Tuschinski Theatre.
GRANDEST HOME OF FILM
The Tuschinski Theatre in Amsterdam is the grandest cinema in the Netherlands and arguably one of the grandest in the world. Built in 1921, the theatre features a baffling mix of Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Jugendstil and Oriental styles. The Tuschinski is not an off-the-beaten-path attraction in Amsterdam. In fact, its central location in the Reguliersbreestraat, near the Rembrandtsquare, means that millions of tourists pass it every year. However, the street itself is a mishmash of touristy restaurants, supermarkets and shops, a busy tram route running through it, with this stunning theatre squashed in the middle. As a consequence, many visitors to Amsterdam tend to overlook the opulence of this magnificent building.
Take the time to visit this theatre as it’s nothing like any cinema you’ve ever seen. Its exterior, rather Gothic in design, is flanked by two green-domed towers. Notice the elaborate façade with its stained-glass windows. Step inside and gawk at the electric colours and murals: red and gold are the primary colours of the rich, over-the-top design of the foyer. Colourful peacocks and birds of paradise adorn the walls while the bar is a symphony of marble and bronze. The designer, Herman Louis de Jong, intended the foyer to give visitors the impression that they were stepping into an illusion – I must say, he certainly succeeded!
The main attraction, however, is further inside this cavernous building: the central hall. The grand, terraced hall features an elaborately designed high ceiling, plush VIP boxes, Art Deco lamps and a large central stage.
There are two ways to really appreciate the history and grandeur of the Tuschinski Theatre: taking a guided tour (Saturday mornings at 10am; please check in advance) or going to a movie in the central hall (2012 is showing there right now). If you choose the latter, get in early and spend some time in the foyer. Then walk up to the entrance of the central hall and check out the gorgeous corridors. Find the right entrance, then step into the central hall. The first sight of it will take your breath away! If you feel like indulging yourself, get tickets for the ‘Love Seats’, a plush two-seater couch on the first balcony in your own private box. You can also add a wine or champagne set to your ‘Love Seats’ tickets. It’s a really cool way to appreciate this stunning theatre in the heart of Amsterdam.