Best Cinema in the World…?

The Tuschinski Theatre in Amsterdam is as beautiful as it is easy to pronounce.

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Widely regarded* as the best cinema in the world, the venue takes you back to the birth of commercial cinema. The stunning architecture is not limited to the main auditorium but coats every surface inside and out in a blend of Art Deco, Art Nouveau and Amsterdam School. This confluence of tastes is born of lethargy: the first architect failed to finish and was ultimately fired, leaving Tuschinski himself and others to finish up with eclectic results.

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During the war, the theatre was renamed ‘Tivoli’ to, you know, like, ‘hide’ it from the Nazi’s (?!?).

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The labyrinthic corridors, recesses and confusion are no accident; the design was for privacy, and the original finish accommodated, amongst other things: a Japanese tea room, a cabaret, and a Moorish suite. The foyer is designed to feel like one has stepped into an illusion, appropriate for a cinema, and the slowly changing colour of the ceiling certainly helps.

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At the turn of this century, the entire cinema was expensively and gently renovated. This appears to have had a lot of local support, in particular by KLM who flew the foyer carpet back to Morocco for renovations with the original thread at a supposed freight cost of £90,000; one 40th of the cost to build the theatre in the 1920s.

*I know at least two people who agree. CNN have never heard of it though, and they shortlist these uglies instead.

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