We couldn’t wrap up our year in Amsterdam without one final diary log from the projection booths of Amsterdam. Likewise, we headed to Lijnbaansgracht to find the welcoming arthouse cinema Cinecenter, tucked in between the now legendary pop-culture venue Melkweg and the always-lively Leidseplein.
Cinecenter is an intimate arthouse cinema right in the center of Amsterdam that combines an independent and arthouse film programming with special English-subtitled screenings and film meet-ups directed to Amsterdam’s bursting community of expats. Cinecenter opened its doors for the first time in 1979 in a building originally designed by the architect Gerard de Klerk.
In 2011, Cinecenter was renovated and it was in this year that the transition to fully digital projection took place. Whereas some of the previous analogue projectors have been put in storage elsewhere, one of them was donated to Filmhuis Cavia (a booth we have already visited). Currently, Cinecenter has four screening rooms, each one with a unique touch. Whereas in some rooms you will find beautiful light designs and ambient sound, in others you will be greeted with a shadow game reminiscent of early cinema devices as you enter the room and you will be waved bye-bye with word “FIN” as you leave the screening room. The floor that connects all screening rooms is also nothing short of welcoming for a cinephile: with a vivid red tapestry of some of the most iconic eyes in the story of film (such as, for example, Alex de Large’s eye in “A Clockwork Orange”).
Renske Diks was so kind as to show us around the two projection booths of Cinecenter. Starting has a cashier 8 years ago, Renske has done a bit of everything around the cinema and now she is indeed a full-fledge connoisseur of Cinecenter where she continues, to this day, to joggle different functions at the same time: she works as a cashier, at the tickets, as a programmer and projectionist, at the booth, among many other daily-goings on.
Cinecenter is now a fully digital cinema, equipped with four Compact DLP Barco DP2K–12C Alchemy Digital Cinema Projectors. The cinema has two projection booths to operate and control the four screening rooms. One of the projection booths is exclusive to “Zaal 4”, the smallest of the screening rooms of Cinecenter. The second projection booth is a larger room with three Barco Digital Cinema Projectors from which the remaining three screening rooms and their respective film programs are managed. With the desk, computer screen and large white boards it might well be implied that this is also Renske (partial) office.
Overall, Cinecenter is an intimate and cosy cinema, with a longstanding independent-circuit film program! If you are craving some English subtitled films in Amsterdam and a community of expat film buffs to connect with, this is definitely the place to be! We hope to see you around!
The University of Amsterdam AMIA Student Chapter
All words, artwork and photos by Sofia Pires
with support from Krystel Brown.