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Berlin’s 100-year-old Passage cinema gets a new lease of life

In an decade where cinema attendance is at an all-time low, Berlin’s 100-year-old Passage Cinema is putting its faith in the future, courtesy of a top-to-toe refurbishment by Batek Architekten.

The Neukölln film theatre was established during the ‘golden era’ of German cinema, built in 1920 known as Passage until it shuttered in 1968 – a result of the increasing popularity of colour television and the construction of the Berlin Wall. For 20 years, the space was used to store furniture before it was revived by Berlin cinema group Yorck Kinogruppe in 1989, who restored it to its original purpose.

Photography: Batek Architekten

Batek Architekten has embraced this storied past, polishing its remaining period features while introducing some unexpected colour choices to the interiors.

The original columns and mouldings of the building remain firmly in place, now complemented by a pistachio green and pale pink bar area – and contrasting terracotta-coloured floors. Original Corten steel cladding has been upcycled into the new bar, and original brass light fittings were also restored.

Photography: Batek Architekten

The architectural practice has also overhauled the Passage’s auditoriums, installing plush mustard yellow seating and navy blue walls in one screen, and red seats lit by neon stripes of light in another.

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