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Thursday, May 16

Kino International now closed for repairs for two years

The iconic Berlin cinema Kino International has closed for extensive repairs. But don't worry, it'll only take two years.

Photo: IMAGO / PEMAX

Thursday, May 16

Kino International closes for two years

One of Berlin’s most iconic cinemas is set to remain shut for two whole years, according to the Yorck cinema group who operate the location, with 80 percent of its entire technical systems needing to be refurbished: “Every cable and every radiator in the building will be replaced.” The final screenings were on Monday night.

The cinema actually turned 60 years old last November, and it is considered one of the pearls of East German design. During the DDR, the building was the site of all the most important film premieres, hosting politicians and cultural luminaries. It even had a reputation for showing politically edgy material – famously, viewers were watching Coming Out, the first DDR film to be shown with a queer theme, on November 9, 1989, the night the wall fell.

Two years might seem like a long period of repairs but, for Berlin, it’s nothing. When the Pergamon Museum announced its renovations last year, we learned that collection would not be available to view in its entirety for another 14 years.