One of the main charms of central Amsterdam is its Renaissance architecture. Just northwest of Rembrandt Square—named after Dutch master painter Rembrandt van Rijn—sits a prime example, the Pathé Tuschinski theatre. Walking through the lobby to the main hall with a bag of popcorn in hand lends suspicion that the Tuschinski is no ordinary picture house, but upon entering the theatre for the feature presentation, there are no doubts. Built in 1921 by Abraham Icek Tuschinski, who had previously opened four cinemas in his hometown of Rotterdam, Pathé Tuschinski today remains one of the most striking cinemas in the country. Both the interior and exterior, at their core, feature beautiful art deco influences with their bright red and gold motifs and extravagant ornamentation.
Originally a cinema and live performance hall, the Tuschinski had a 16-instrument orchestra in residence, which provided the musical backdrop for celebrated performers such as Édith Piaf, Judy Garland, and Dionne Warwick. In 1974, it began showing only motion pictures and the organ that once played before the slides began to roll was put out of commission. To preserve such a rich history, the building has been rebuilt and restored on a number of occasions since the 1980s. Today, with technical updates and a newly built modern annex, the cinema presents a blend of movies from Hollywood blockbusters to independent avant-garde films. Whether lovers of architecture, film buffs, or those simply looking to pass the time, whoever steps through the double doors into the Tuschinski main hall will find that the building is an escape all its own.