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A 100-year-old Berlin cinema revived

In a decade when cinema attendance is at an all-time low, the renovation of the 100-year-old Passage in Berlin is restoring a little faith in the future of cinemas. Batek Architects have embraced the cinema’s past while introducing unconventional color combinations into the interior: sage and pistachio green, pale pink, navy blue, mustard yellow and purple have come together in surprising harmony.

The Passage cinema in Neukölln district was established in 1908, during the “golden age” of German cinema, on the first floor of a neoclassical building. It closed down in 1968, and was used to store furniture for 20 years before being revived and restored to its original purpose in 1989 by the Berlin-based Yorck Kinogruppe cinema group. Batek Architects’ current series of well-considered modifications aim to combine the glamour of one of Berlin’s oldest cinemas with a contemporary cinema experience. The interiors have been reconsidered functionally and aesthetically, as well.

The building’s original columns and moldings remain in place, but have been complemented with a pistachio green and pale pink foyer bar and a contrasting terracotta floor. In the bar, the original Corten steel cladding has been reused and the brass fixtures restored, while the foyer has been given elegant marble tabletops and sage green banquet seating. The cinema halls are designed to evoke the golden age of cinema, with dark navy blue fabric and golden yellow upholstery in one screening room and a dramatic red color scheme in the other. New podiums were also installed in the auditorium to ensure ideal viewing height.

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