Cineac


 
Reguliersbreestraat 31
Grachtengordel - Zuid
Amsterdam
Jan Duiker
CineActuel / Casino Merkur
tram 4, 9, 14, 24, 16, 25.
1934/2011
Commercieel, Voorziening
 

From news cinema to casino

The Cineac was built in 1934 as a news cinema. Designed by Jan Duiker, it is in the style of the Nieuwe Bouwen, an architectural movement characterized by a clear formal idiom, based on simple volumes. There are few buildings in this style in the Netherlands and the Cineac is unique in that occupies a prominent position in the streetscape. Partly for this reason, in 1993 it was given national listed status.

The news cinema provided people with news at a time when there were no televisions. In the sixties, when this news service was no longer needed, the Cineac became an ordinary cinema. In 1980, a few alterations were made: a permanent ticket desk was installed and the neon letters on the façade were removed.

The Cineac lay vacant throughout the eighties and beyond. In 1996, a branch of the Planet Hollywood chain moved into the building but when this company went bankrupt in 2000, it lay vacant once again. Squatters occupied the empty building on a number of occasions. From 2006 onwards it housed various bars and restaurants. In that same year, the building’s exterior was renovated and the neon letters replaced. The interior was transformed. Duiker’s sober design was replaced by a trendy lounge style. The original raked floor and cinema seats were removed, which aficionados of Duiker’s architecture saw as an assault on his design.

In 2011, the Cineac was again given a new use: today it houses a branch of Casino Merkur. (ARCAM)