Rozengracht 117
Z.D. Gulden & M. Geldmaker
Tram 13, 14, 17. Stop Marnixstraat
Cultuur, Leisure, Voorziening

The Rozen Theatre on Rozengracht opened in 1913 as a cinema. With more than 1000 seats, it was one of the largest cinemas in the Netherlands. It is an eye-catching building with Art Deco features. The theatre has had various uses over the decades and its name has often changed. Since 2013 it has housed the comedy club Boom Chicago.

The theatre was designed by the architects Z.D. Gulden and M. Geldmaker and is in the style of the Amsterdam School. The architects were known for their sober, practical style and their inexpensive housing schemes. They sometimes engaged other architects, for example, J.F. Staal and P.H. Berlage, to design the elevations of their buildings.
The theatre is built mainly of brick and natural stone. The pitched roofs of the towers and the semi-circular roof in between are clad with lead. From the first floor up there are tall stained-glass windows with flower motifs. The facade is decorated with ornamentation and reliefs, including the name of the theatre, garlands on the edge of the semi-circular roof and various figures, such as, for example, a Pierrot with a lute.

For many years the building housed a cinema. In 1926, its name was changed to the Asta Theatre and theatrical productions were also performed. During the German occupation all films were removed from the programme because the then owner, Albers de Brieder, refused to show German propaganda. From the late 1940s until 1971 the building once again functioned as a cinema and was known as the Capitol. Since the 1970s the building has housed various theatre companies. In 2001, it reverted to its original name.

Since its opening, the building has been remodelled on several occasions. In 1948 it was renovated by the architect D. Greiner. The interior was given a complete makeover. As a result, there was no longer a view from the auditorium of the stained-glass windows. In 2004, the theatre was renovated by the architectural office Mecanoo. The building was stripped and the original open space reinstated. In 2013, the interior was remodelled for Boom Chicago, to a design by Angie Abbink x Co Architecten. (ARCAM/VV)