Distinctive Cinema: Babylon Berlin – every movie is an event!
ince the fall of the Berlin Wall, there have been 2 cinemas in Berlin called Babylon, one in Mitte and one in Kreuzberg, but only one offers the original and distinctive 1920s cinema experience.
The Babylon cinema on Rosa-Luxemburg-Straße was originally built as a residential and commercial building according to the plans of architect Hans Poelzig, the co-founder and director of the ‘Werkbund’. The opening took place in 1929 with the silent film ‘Fräulein Else’. – And the cinema has remained true to the ‘silent film’ concept to this day. It is Berlin’s only surviving premiere cinema of the silent film era. So this cinema has a lot to offer not only cinematically but also architecturally! Throughout history, it served as a refuge for opponents of the regime during National Socialism. Today, a memorial plaque in the foyer of the building commemorates the projectionist Rudolf Lunau, who founded a resistance cell of the ‘KPD’ in the cinema in 1933/34.
In GDR times, the Babylon was the only East Berlin art cinema….and today it is still an art cinema, celebrating the art of filmmaking! …From Wes Andersons masterful film “The Royal Tenenbaums”, which celebrated its film premiere at the Berlinale 2002 in the competition program, to Christopher Nolan’s “Memento” and of course the many legendary silent films – the Babylon Berlin has them all in its program. The films are mostly shown in the original version with subtitles. If you want to experience a special evening at the movies, Babylon is the place to be.
The film “Metropolis” required “310 days of shooting, 36,000 extras, 200,000 costumes and the budget of five million Reichsmark, which was gigantic by the standards of the time” – as it’s written in the text of the Deutsche Kinemathek – anyone who wants to experience this film on a screen framed in gold including the original film music, which contains parts unheard for almost 100 years, the Babylon Berlin is exactly the right place. The music has been reconstructed and can be experienced again for the first time in an architecturally appropriate ambience, as if traveling back in time.
This cinema is a real institution for cineastes.