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Karlsruhe cinemas saw their first opening after the lockdown: “The first weekend was overwhelming”




There are two cinemas that at first glance could hardly be more different – the Filmpalast at the ZKM and the Karlsruhe Kinemathek. Both of them, however, were able to open their doors to film fans of all kinds for the first time on July 1st. The rush to the respective cinemas, however, differed significantly.

The very first film recording was shown in Karlsruhe in 1896, just one year after the world’s first cinema was set up. Seen in this way, the Fcherstadt has a long tradition in relation to the art of moving images. Karlsruhe’s film fans were all the harder hit when the cinemas had to shut down when the lockdown began.

“First weekend was overwhelming”

Since July 1st, however, thanks to the opening steps initiated, film culture has returned to Karlsruhe. In an interview with ka-news.de, two cinemas of different types reported on their first open week after the fallow Corona months: The Filmpalast at the ZKM and the city’s own film art studio, the Kinemathek. Both speak of a thoroughly successful opening weekend.

“We were really surprised by the great popularity of the visitors,” says Tilman Bandel, Theater Director of the Filmpalast. “The first weekend was downright overwhelming.” Some screenings, including films shown at noon, were completely sold out in the first week. And judging by the advance booking numbers, we expect the coming weekend to be very strong too, “adds Bandel.

Tilman Bandel, theater director of the Filmpalast at the ZKM.

Tilman Bandel, theater director of the Filmpalast at the ZKM. | Image: Filmpalast at the ZKM

In contrast, the Kinemathek did not offer such an array of starved cineastes. “The first weekend was rather slower for us,” says Michael Endepols, who is responsible for the program there. In his opinion, “word of the reopening of the cinematheque must first get around before more guests take advantage of our film offer”. However, the number of regular guests who appeared was satisfactory.

Michael Endepols, program manager at the Kinemathek Karlsruhe.

Michael Endepols, program manager at the Kinemathek Karlsruhe. | Image: Kinemathek Karlsruhe eV

According to this number of visitors and the capacity of the company’s own staff, there were also different hygiene measures and safety precautions.


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