Went to check this out last night for the first time, turned out it was the last night!
The screen was at Karlsplatz, so we had a nice view while waiting for the dark.
We saw “To be or not to be” from 1942. It was very enjoyable!!
I find this house has some sort of charisma which points to something quite interesting. As I see it quite often, I decided to dig a bit deeper into its story. Thanks to an article in Falter, I found out much more about the history of the theatre. The story starts in 1910, when the royal architect Ferdinand Böhm wanted to fulfil a childhood dream. He erected this building as a 5 story building with a fantastic theatre in the basement, which he hoped would impress his aristocrat friends. It ended in ruin however when Böhm was forced to sell the building in to cover debts at the end of the 1920s, to the newly established Republic, which ran the theatre as a cinema from then on.
During the war, it was used as a brothel for the allied, but after the end of the war it was again returned to its previous use as a cinema, albeit a very poorly visited one. In the 1970s the current theatre manager, Mr. Robert Jungbluht was tired of the poor yield that the cinema brought, and decided to make the place into the ‘Athletic Center’ where the then renowned boxer Hans Orsolic could train and have matches against opponents. It was a successful gym, which ran well under the lead of Otto Fodrek. After 19 years here, Fodrek was so successful that he was offered to move his fitness centre to the Ernst-Happel Stadium. And so, he moved, leaving the Mala Strana behind.
And this was then just about the end of its success story. In 1993 the building was again made into a theatre by the young theatre manager Markus Kupferblum, who got a loan and attempted to renovate and revive the theatre. It ran really well, until the Austrian Bureaucracy caught up with him, and made sure that the success story ended there and then. And, since then, the building has been empty. In 2012 there were rumours of a supermarket opening, however this was not a popular idea.
It seems almost a shame that it’s not being put into use for some worthy cause. A few pictures from the inside can be found in this article from the BerzirksZeitung.
Trying to find your way out of Apollo cinema is complicated enough, but when you can manage to find your way to the toilet and back to the foyer, or indeed just back to the foyer, you’ve really advanced to pro level. This cinema is designed to make you walk a lot, and to never end up where you started. Mostly it’s a German cinema, so not many original versions. But if you want to try out German dubbing this is not a bad theatre. comfortable seats, great sound system (some theatres have shakers too) and big screen with HD. And it kinda looks cool too. 🙂
When I first arrived in Vienna, I was aware of the custom that German speaking countries have in dubbing movies. I suppose, that with globalisation and all I just figured that surely they would now be moving towards more original language movies. Boy, was I wrong… I’ve watched some movies in German, and to me it’s still extremely weird. The first movie I watched in German was Robin Hood, with Russel Crowe and Cate Blanchett leading. Speaking German… It wasn’t badly done or anything, but it just didn’t feel…. right. So, now I prefer to watch movies at Artis International or at Haydn English Cinema, where I am sure to get the original language. There are some large movie theatres around town which show original versions alongside dubbed ones, but that’s really only for the massive blockbusters. Otherwise, some of the small artsy movie theatres also play original language movies, but with subtitles. That’s really what I prefer… I grew up with subtitles, so I’m quite a fan of them. But I have many friends who just find them downright annoying. At Artis and Haydn, the movies are free of subtitles. 🙂
The Viennale is on every year around this time; it’s the main international film festival here. There are other small festivals too, smaller and usually with a much narrower focus than Viennale. This is from Gartenbau Kino, just by Stubentor. I really love how these old-school theatres can survive by showing independent films. I haven’t been around many of them before, but the Viennale is a perfect excuse for checking them out! Will definitely become a bit more high brow now and seek out more independent films… 😛 Tonight I’m watching Texas Chainsaw Massacre! Old school!
I had to test my ability to look scary like Leatherface.