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The Rise of Cinema


The Rise of Cinema 

Movies have been a big part of my upbringing. My dad is a big fan of films and wanted to share his love with my little brother and I which resulted in many family movie nights. As I got older the movie nights became less frequent: we had schoolwork to do, we were meeting up with friends or we were watching our own Netflix series. My love for film was still there, but I felt like I was no longer nurturing it. There was always a series or movie to watch on Netflix, instead of having to pay 10 euros to go to the cinema. That was until I found Cineville.

Cineville is a Dutch organization founded by a group of four film lovers. It was started in 2009 with 25 employees. The four founders worked together at student cinema Kriterion in Amsterdam. They noticed the lack of visitors and started wondering: why are our theaters empty? After asking around they found the answer: the public did not like the movies they were showing. They were too difficult, too long, too boring, too ‘arthouse’.[1]

They decided this had to change. So, they came up with the Cineville pass: one pass that grants you access to a number of different cinemas around the Netherlands. The costs? A payment of 17,50 euros a month if you’re under the age of 30 or 21,50 a month if you’re 30 years or older. The idea of this pass was to make the film world more accessible. Some short fifteen years later the pass has taken the Dutch film world by storm. There were around sixty thousand passholders in the Netherlands in 2022.

After careful consideration I decided to buy a Cineville pass for myself. I was debating on buying it: was I really going to use it? Is it worth the 17,50? But now that I have had mine for a little bit over three weeks I am never going back. I have found the perfect tool to revive my love for film and cinema. With as little as two visits a month you get your money’s worth - I now go to the cinema at least once a week (usually twice) and I tend to visit movies I would not have gone to at first sight but since it feels like it’s free, I now take the time to check them out as well.

In most Dutch cities you can find at least one cinema that you can use your pass for. In Rotterdam you can use it for four different theaters located throughout the city. My go to’s are Kino, located in the West part of Rotterdam and Cinerama which is next to the Beurs metro station. Both theaters have a beautiful interior, a very friendly feel, and a great personality, something that I sometimes miss when visiting bigger cinema franchises like Pathe, Kinepolis or Vue.

These smaller cinemas also know how to attract visitors: they do not only show arthouse or small films but also blockbusters like Avatar 2 and new Marvel movies. This way they have something for everyone. They also do special screenings of movies. On Monday the 23d of January I went to see 2001: A space Odyssey on 70mm with my dad in Kino. This was hands down the best cinematic experience of my life.

The film was shown in the same way it was shown to the public after its initial release in 1968: there was a piece of orchestral music at the beginning of the film, there was a break after which there was another piece of orchestral music to lead you back into the film and during the credit scene there was orchestral ‘walk-out’ music. The film itself was shown on 70mm film: old-school, like you usually only see in the movies. The negatives were loaded into the projector and the projector transferred the moving image to the screen. A very beautiful screening I got to experience with my dad, the person that made me love film and cinema.

If you did not hear of Cineville before, I hope I have enlightened you with information. If you had heard of Cineville before, I hope I have encouraged you to try it. I am always open to go to a movie with you if you don’t want to go alone :). I am currently making plans to see ’12 angry men’ on 35mm in Kino with my dad. And of course, I will use my beloved Cineville pass.


[1]De Haas, Anna, "De arthousefilm is heus niet stoffig, vinden ze bij Cineville, een collectief van Nederlandse filmhuizen”, De Volkskrant, November 17, 2022. https://www.volkskrant.nl/economie/de-arthousefilm-is-heus-niet-stoffig-vinden-ze-bij-cineville-een-collectief-van-nederlandse-filmhuizen~b7c4e268/?referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F