What to do a rainy day in Amsterdam? Are you tired of museums and coffee shops? A fun thing to do in Amsterdam is going to see a film at one of Amsterdam’s art house film cinemas. These film theatres are generally cheap and they are located at interesting venues.
Art film houses in Amsterdam are called filmhuizen (film houses). The movies they screen vary from classics classics to modern day classics, documentaries, shorts, animations and world cinema.
In Holland, English films are always subtitled and never dubbed. But make sure the language of the subtitles is in English if the film is in any other language besides English.
Subtitles in Dutch cinemas
Dutch films do NOT have English subtitles (in general), so you can’t see those if you don’t understand Dutch.
De Melkweg (Milky way) at Leidseplein is a cultural hub with two main stages for live pop / rock music.
The building is an old milk factory that was squatted in the 1970′s by a theatre group. It quickly turned into a youth centre. Nowadays it’s one of Amsterdam’s most famous clubs.
But besides concerts and club nights, Melkweg has a nice bar and good restaurant with friendly prices, an interesting art gallery, regular dance productions and an art house cinema for mostly independent movie house films.
Films at Melkweg cinema start in the evenings and night time, every day of the week.
Films are €7.
De Balie is another cultural centre located at Leidseplein, but more politically correct in a building that suits them: a former courthouse. There are 3 halls to fill with debates, seminars, theatre and film, all specifically aimed at ‘opening up debate’ on social, political and cultural matters.
Often films at The Balie are followed by a discussion (usually in English).
With outside terrace, bar, restaurant and free wifi.
Cinema and discussion at 20.00 uur, € 8.
EYE Film Museum
The Amsterdam Eye Film Institute screens classic films, documentaries, shorts, fiction, Dutch films and independent films. The Dutch film institute EYE has an impressive film archive, dating back to silent movies.
EYE Film Museum dedicates itself to restoring and digitalising films and to building up an audience for Dutch films abroad.
In 2012 EYE proudly opened up its grand new venue across the IJ-waters. The spacious building has 4 cinemas and even more room for events.
In summer the EYE bar and restaurant is worth a visit for its spacious terrace on the water with panoramic views.
There is also an exhibition space with film-related stuff such as photographs, posters, soundtracks, equipment and film maker’s paper archives.
The EYE film museum holds screenplays to storyboards, props and costumes from his films and shows pretty much all of his films from The Shining to Eyes wide Shut.
Movies at the EYE Film Museum, Amsterdam are around €10.
Het Ketelhuis (‘kettle house’) started out as a cinema for Dutch children films, but has turned into a full art house cinema. Focus is still on Dutch films though (no subtitling in English).
Het Ketelhuis also programs political film debates, get-togethers from the Dutch Film scene and dance nights.
Het Ketelhuis is located at Westergasfabriek.
Dinner is served as well. Tickets are €9.
The Amsterdam film theatre Rialto near Sarphatipark at Ceintuurbaan has been screening films since 1921.
Rialto has a preference for European and independent art house films.
Occasionally, special guests introduce the film or there’s an interview or afterparty.
Three rooms and a bar with wifi.
Films are €9 (weekdays) or €10 (weekend).
Certainly the Uitkijk is the most romantic theatre to watch a film. Located near Leidseplein, but hardly noticeable from the outside. Inside, a lovely 1920s avant garde décor puts you right in the mood.
Film theatre De Uitkijk is managed by students. De Uitkijk screens independent film house movies.
From classics like Rambo: first blood and North by Northwest to commercial Iranian fiction.
The Movies at Haarlemmerdijk is Amsterdam’s oldest movie theatre. Lovely Art deco interior.
At The Movies there is always something interesting to watch. It screens new films from directors like Lars von Trier, Pedro Almodovar, Woody Allen and Wim Wenders.
From Sunday to Thursday there is a special movie dinner menu (€ 22,50 including films).
Smart Cinema is located in an old laboratory in Old-West (Oud-West) grimly used as a pathology lab (lab 111). The cinema has multiple rooms and is not frequented very often, so you stand the chance to watch the film with just you and your company.
At SMART Cinema there is a nice slick designed restaurant/bar with some details taken from the pathology lab (the lamps!). (photo right)
With regular art exhibitions. Tickets for films are €7.
Kriterion, student movie house and bar, (located across University of Amsterdam at Roetersstraat).
Kriterion organises regular entertaining specials for nice prices. Such as the always surprising ‘Sneak Preview’ every Tuesday (22.15, €5) and Film e Pizza on Wednesday €13,- (including pizza!).
Cinema, restaurant and club Studio K is located in the East of Amsterdam (Timorplein) and is run by the same student organisation as Kriterion.
Studio/K opened its door in 2007 but has proved its success already.
Check calender for films.
Filmhuis Cavia is a very, very low budget art film house where you pay just €4 to watch a film.
Every Tuesday night a guest introduces a rarely screened cult classic: Nouvelle Vague, kitchen sink, silent film, experimental, Russian Montage, Japanese Bondage. Everything is possible at Amsterdams alternative film house Cavia.
At Van Halllstraat (near Westergasterrein).
Amsterdam squatters hub OT301 has a 76-seat cinema as well, screening independent/activist documentaries and fictional works ranging from cult to queer to classics for €4.
Usually on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Check calender.
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