A fun thing to do in Amsterdam is visiting one of Amsterdam’s many art film houses. Cult cinemas offer plenty of weird and interesting films. And if you don’t feel like seeing a film, the attached bar, café, and restaurant are often pretty cool places in Amsterdam to eat, drink or just spend a pleasant evening.
Here are 15 Art House Film Cinemas in Amsterdam
Center of Amsterdam
Cinecenter is a small art-house film cinema located at Leidseplein. It is a great little theatre with a small bar. Cinecenter screens “quality film’, which means it may screen Hollywood blockbusters along with independent films and art house films.
- Cinecenter offers film+dinner combo with restaurant Morlang.
- Bring your drink (also alcohol) into the cinema
- No popcorn
- Every week there is a recent foreign-language film with English subtitles at Cinecenter. With meetup afterward.
- Cinecenter, Lijnbaansgracht 236
Are Films in Holland subtitled?
Yes, all films in Holland have subtitles in Dutch. English films are always subtitled and never dubbed. If the film is not English-spoken, subtitles will likely be in Dutch. Before you go to a non-English spoken film in Holland, ask the cinema if the film is subtitled in English.
2. Melkweg Cinema
De Melkweg (Milky way) at Leidseplein is a music venue with two main stages for live music. The building is an old milk factory that was squatted in the 1970s by a theatre group. It quickly turned into a youth center. Nowadays it’s one of Amsterdam’s most famous clubs. And there is a cool art house film cinema in the attic of the building.
- Films are mostly independent movie house films, music documentaries, and music films.
- Films at Melkweg cinema start in the evenings and night time, every day of the week.
3. De Uitkijk
Certainly, the Uitkijk is the most romantic film theatre in Amsterdam 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.
- All films are independent film house movies.
- De Uitkijk is managed by students.
- You can rent the cinema to get married here!
4. De Balie
De Balie is a cultural venue located at Leidseplein. There are 3 halls to fill with debates, seminars, and theatre. One is a cinema. The program of De Balie aims to ‘open up debate on social, political and cultural matters’.
- Films are films house movies and documentaries.
- Often films are followed by a discussion (usually in English).
- De Balie has an outside terrace, a cool bar, a nice restaurant, and free wifi.
- De Balie, Kleine Gartmanplantsoen 10
5. 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 digitalizing films and to build up an audience for Dutch films abroad.
- Amazing modern building across the IJ-waters.
- There is a large bar and restaurant with panoramic views + outside terrace
- Great museum shop
- Temporary exhibitions about films
- Spread throughout the building are objects on display from the world of the moving image
- Eye Film
6. FC Hyena, for films and wine
It’s on the other side of the IJ-water in Amsterdam Noord and not easy to reach, but it’s a great little find: FC Hyena. At FC Hyena they like quality in their wine, their food and their films. It has an easy-going vibe. Films are mainstream, classics as well as independent films.
- Serving ‘natural wines’ (‘vin nature’) and cider. Drinks may be consumed while watching the film.
- The restaurant cooks with seasonal ingredients, prepared in their wood-fired brick oven.
- FC Hyena, Aambeeldstraat 24
7. Amsterdam Art House Film Theatre The Movies
The Movies at Haarlemmerdijk is Amsterdam’s oldest movie theatre. The nostalgic cinema has a lovely Art Deco interior. The Movies screens new films from directors like Lars von Trier, Pedro Almodovar, Woody Allen, and Wim Wenders.
- Restaurant Tavenu is located inside the cinema, serving Asian dishes.
- Some new releases get their own little after party, including introductions, quizzes, cocktails and snacks.
- The Movies, Haarlemmerdijk 161
8. De FilmHallen
Opened in 2014, the Amsterdam Halls were an immediate success. The buildings at the Bellamyplein in Amsterdam West (near Kinkerstraat) date back to 1902 -1928. Part of them were as renovated and turned into a cinema. Every day there are films screened in 9 different film rooms. From Hollywood to European film, foreign films from around the world and documentaries.
- Comfy chairs.
- The bar only offers small bites and drinks. You may bring them into the film rooms.
- Only pay by card
- De FilmHallen, Hannie Dankbaarpassage 12
The cult cinema LAB111 is located in the Oud-West neighborhood. The building is near the complex of buildings that once served as hospitals, the Wilhelmina Gasthuis (WG-terrein). LAB111 was a pathological anatomy laboratory Pathology Laboratory.
- The on-site restaurant Strangelove is pretty good and has interesting film+dinner deals.
- Regular art exhibitions, lectures and other events
- You may take your drink into the cinema
- LAB111, Arie Biemondstraat 111
10 Het Ketelhuis
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 is located at Westergasfabriek.
- Het Ketelhuis also programs political film debates, get-togethers from the Dutch Film scene and dance nights.
- Dinner is served as well.
- Het Ketelhuis, Westergasfabriek
11. Filmhuis Cavia
Filmhuis Cavia is a low budget art film house cinema in Amsterdam. It is not-for-profit and run by volunteers. Their history lies in the squatter’s movement of Amsterdam. Movies are €5, but don’t expect too much comfort.
- Filmhuis Cavia specializes in films in the subject of gender and diversity.
- Film are also screened on location, like Museum Het Schip.
- Pay with Bitcoins (optional).
- Filmhuis Cavia, Van Hallstraat 52 (up the stairs)
12. OT301’s Cinema of the Dam’d
Amsterdam former squatters hub OT301 once was the Dutch Film Academy. It is fitting then that the building should use its 76-seat cinema on the top floor. The non-profit foundation Cinema of the Dam’d curates the film program. On screen are classics as well as independent/activist documentaries and fictional works ranging from cult to queer to classics.
- Standard English subtitles
- Tickets are €5
- Seats, sofas and beanbags
- Cinema of the Damd, Overtoom 301
The Amsterdam film theatre Rialto is in De Pijp, near Sarphatipark. Rialto 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. There are 3 rooms and a bar with wifi.
- Monday: foreign films with English subtitles
- Monday: pizza night, get a pizza from De Pizzabakkers and eat it inside
- Thursday and Friday: dinner!
- Rialto, Ceintuurbaan 338, De Pijp
Kriterion is a student-run movie house and bar, located across the University of Amsterdam at Roetersstraat. Popular, not just among students.
- Kriterion organises regular entertaining specials,
- Such as the always surprising ‘Sneak Preview’ every Tuesday,
- Monday is ‘Modern classic’.
- Live music every Sunday afternoon.
- Kriterion, Roetersstraat 170
15. Club and cinema Studio/K
Cinema, restaurant and club Studio/K is located in the East of Amsterdam (Timorplein). Studio/K is run entirely by students (by the same student organization as Kriterion).
- There are regular special screenings and parties. There is also a Studio/K club.
- Theatre performances
- The restaurant serves lunch, dinner, drinks and snacks.
- Special dinner+film offers.
- Studio/K, Timorplein 62.
I hadn’t visited A’Dam for quite a few years and was totally gobsmacked by seeing the EYE from the Schipol train into Centraal in 2013. So much so, I completely changed my plans for the next two days and spent a lot of time in and around it, not seeing any films but just marvelling at the architecture and location (and A-Lab nearby, etc).
A nice alternative to Damrak :P