Pathé Tuschinski, originally Theater Tuschinski, in Amsterdam is near the Rembrandtplein in the heart of the city. The main auditorium hosts many premieres of Dutch and American films. It was elected the most beautiful cinema in the world by London’s Time Out magazine in February 2021.
The Art Nouveau building was commissioned by businessman Abraham Icek Tuschinski at a cost of 4 million guilders. Construction was carried out by architect Hijman Louis de Jong and started in 1918.
After the end of the construction works, in 1921, a Wurlitzer- Strunk theatre organ was installed, along with a Wurlitzer model 160. The Tuschinski Theater opened on 28th October, 1921.
When it first opened, the theatre contained electro-technical features, then considered revolutionary. Its unique heating and ventilation system kept the temperature even throughout the building.
Abraham Icek Tuschinski was born in Brzeziny near Łódź in Poland on 14th May 1886. While emigrating to the United States in 1903 Tuschinski decided to remain in Rotterdam during his stopover there. He found success as a cinema owner, opening his first four cinemas in 1911: the Thalia, Cinema Royal, Scala and Olympia. His most luxurious cinema in Rotterdam, the Grand Theater, opened in 1928.
During the German occupation of the Netherlands in the Second World War, the Tuschinski Theater was given the non-Jewish name “Tivoli” by the Nazis. After the end of the war in 1945, the original name was restored.
Tuschinski lost all his cinemas in Rotterdam when the city was bombed by the Germans on 14th May 1940. On 1st July 1942 he was deported to the Westerbork concentration camp in the northeast of the Netherlands, and from there to Auschwitz, where he was murdered on 17th September 1942.
In 1967, the Tuschinski Amsterdam was designated as historical cultural site because of its architecture.
From 1998 to 2002, the theatre was renovated in its original style. It was also expanded, with a new, more modern wing that connects to the original building via a corridor. The new wing added three extra auditoriums to the Tuschinski.
The western facade is flanked by two towers. It combines several architectural styles: Art Deco, Art Nouveau and the Amsterdam School.
The building contains Asian influences while the lobby was designed in a way to offer theatre-goers the feeling that they are stepping into an illusion. The Tuschinski’s main auditorium has served as both a movie theatre and a live performance space since its opening. In addition to the film screens and the organs it also has a large fully-equipped stage for live performances. 28th February 2021