Cinephiles, rejoice! Neukölln’s practically exploding with cosy independent cinemas these days.
Opened in November a few metres away from Maybachufer, Il Kino is the brainchild of Kristian Pålshaugen, Carla Molino and Daniel Wuschansky, a multinational trio from Norway, Italy and Germany respectively. The former bakery holds 52 filmgoers (60 if they squeeze together) in its DIY theatre with concrete walls and chairs from an old British military base. Programme-wise, expect second-run arthouse flicks like Polish Oscar winner Ida or hyped doc Finding Vivian Maier (Tue-Thu €6/5, Fri-Sun €7.50/6). They’ve also been showing Edgar Reitz’ cult miniseries Die zweite Heimat every Sunday since launching, gaining a loyal weekly audience of Heimat-heads (the final episode airs April 12). In the lobby café, digest your screening over Italian food and wine; Sunday aperitivo (wine or beer plus buffet) is €7.50.
Further into the heart of Neukölln and a bit wilder and woollier, there’s the soon-to-be-completed Wolf: a converted brothel taken over by another ambitious albeit all-German trio, Florian Hubertus, Verena von Stackelberg and Luca Borkowski. The trio completed their much-publicised crowdfunding campaign on April 7, earning over €50,000 with a day to spare, but they’re still on the prowl for private investors. If all goes well, they’ll start proper construction in September and open the cinema, complete with a café and two modern projection rooms accommodating 50 people each, by the end of the year. In the meantime, they’ll continue holding impromptu workshops and film nights in the smashed-up space – even if the audience has to sit on beer crates. Look out for possible open-air film nights over the summer, too.
So what about future competition between the two Neuköllner Kinos? Says Pålshaugen: “If we can both get people to go to their local Kiez cinema instead of huge, impersonal and commercial places that show shit films, that’s a victory for all.”
Il Kino, Nansenstr. 22, Neukölln, U-Bhf Schönleinstr., Tue-Fri 18-close, Sat 16-close, Sun 11-close.
Wolf Kino, Weserstr. 59/Wildenbruchstr. 6, Neukölln, U-Bhf Rathaus Neukölln
Originally published in issue #137, April 2015