In 1999, citizens in the town of Kolding needed a cinema for high-quality art films. Able to fundraise, we established Film6000, a union comprised of volunteers and one employed manager. Up until 2005, the cinema was situated in a modest location, by a bus station. Soon after, we had the opportunity to establish ourselves in a wonderful place in the heart of town: in the cultural complex Nicolai. In Nicolai, there is a space for kids, an art gallery, a concert venue and historical archive and, now, our cinema.
The aim of the Cinema Nicolai has, from the very beginning, been to provide people with art films otherwise inaccessible in the region. Over the past few years, we have increased our focus on events including regular Q&As, a film festival for amateur, young talent, and a Halloween and Oscars event.
One thing the entire town looks forward each year is our “Outdoor Cinema”. Every weekend across two of the summer months we hold free screenings on our terrace. The Italian restaurant sells coffee and drinks and we hand out blankets, for everyone’s comfort. Students, especially, enjoy this event.
We also aim to be a cinema for kids. During office hours, we invite schools and kindergartens to visit. Every year, we hold the Salaam Filmfestival for kids of all ages. At weekends, we attract families who brunch at the restaurant. While the parents relax and enjoy good food and coffee, the cinema shows nonstop movies for kids. We welcome them to move back and forth between the restaurant and the movie theatre.
We are in an era where cinemas face many challenges including competition from Netflix, HBO and similar competitors, and we would be lying if we said that we have a full house every night. We are still far from that. But, our visitors are happy and supportive, and we are so proud that we are able to run a cinema good enough to benefit from the Europa Cinemas membership in the Danish town of Kolding.