Watch a Movie at Pathé Tuschinski (Thank Me Later)

Those were the words someone posted on a forum somewhere — I can’t find it anymore — while I was researching free/cheap things to do in Amsterdam. “Watch a movie at the Pathé Tuschinski. You can thank me later.” As it happened, I was looking for a cinema in which to watch Avengers: Infinity War. We were going to be in Amsterdam on the 25th of April and I was not going to risk spoilers and wait till we got home to watch it, so the Tuschinski recommendation hit the proverbial two birds for me.

SGMT | Amsterdam Pathe Tuschinski
I even splurged on the tickets, only to watch everyone die. Thanks, Russo brothers. 😛 Oh, did I forget to say spoiler alert? Ah, well, now you know why I didn’t want to wait 15 days to watch.

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The Theater Tuschinski, now owned by the film distributor Pathé, is probably one of the most beautiful cinemas in the world. It was commissioned by Abraham Icek Tuschinski, a Polish businessman who decided to emigrate to the United States, stopped by Rotterdam, and never left. That is, he stayed in Rotterdam and built four cinemas in rapid succession before moving on to Amsterdam. The Theater Tuschinski was opened in 1921 with a capacity of 1620 — the largest in the Netherlands at the time — with a combination of art and architecture styles that enthralls even today.

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SGMT | Amsterdam Pathe Tuschinski

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SGMT | Amsterdam Pathe Tuschinski

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We were at the Zaal 1 — or the Grote Zaal — which is the grand cinema hall from 1921. There are other halls in the Pathé Tuschinski but Zaal 1 is the one you want. You can buy tickets online, if you wish, which we did for Infinity War. The most expensive seats are the “Loge Arrangement” in the Lower Box: you get a two-seater “love seat” plus snacks and drinks for €42,50. We didn’t get those, though. We went for seats in the First Balcony, which were regular seats with a great view that still came with our choice of snacks and drinks.

I still remember when all the trailers had played out, and the screen started to show the opening scenes of the movie, and all around us it was pop! pop! pop! as people opened their drinks in semi-unison. My sister and I looked at each other and were like: ohh, is that a sort of tradition in these parts? It doesn’t happen back home.

I also remember being startled when the movie ended. That was not what I was expecting. If you happened to be by the left center aisle of the First Balcony of the Pathé Tuschinski last April 25 for the last screening of the first day of Infinity War, that was me who blurted, “What the hell?” a little loudly at the end of the movie.

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SGMT | Amsterdam Pathe Tuschinski

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SGMT | Amsterdam Pathe Tuschinski

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SGMT | Amsterdam Pathe Tuschinski

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Unfortunately, happy endings weren’t in the script for Abraham Tuschinski either. He lost his cinemas in Rotterdam when the city was bombed by the Germans in 1940. Shortly after, he and his family, as Polish Jews, were transported to Nazi concentration camps and murdered.

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