Kino Lumière/Cinema Lumière – with its 4 screening rooms and the programming focused on art house cinema – is the only multiple-screen Film Club in the Slovak Republic. It is also one of the last cinemas in the world that screens 35 mm films on (almost) daily bases, most often in its FIAF screen called “Filmotéka”.
The history of the cinema began on 12 September 1976. Its four screening rooms, club and café premises were jointly referred to as the “Film Club” and belonged to the Slovak Film Centre. Right from the very start, this Film Club became the place of the most of the formal and informal meetings of audiences with film, but also of filmmakers, for whom this place soon earned the spirit of the temple of Slovak film. During 1991-2011, the premises were leased to several companies to operate the screening rooms however the place was run as a mainstream cinema. Since 2011, the Slovak Film Institute have begun to operate the Cinema Lumière as a public space with an alternative cinema programming, focused on Slovak and European films, archive cinema as well as film education. With Cinema Lumière, films which are not a part of the mainstream cinematography, and thus have a very little chance to get to the audiences, returned to the centre of Bratislava.
Today we provide 4 screening rooms (195 / 79 / 44 / 36 seats) all of them with both analogue 35 mm and digital projections. The foyer and café premises of the cinema are being used not only for informal meetings of cinema goers but also for official openings of festivals, film workshops and other film events.
With 68 screenings in a week, our programming is quite rich and diversified. Regular programming is basically focused on Slovak, European and worldwide independent productions. We are a repertory cinema, interested in first runs, however, we do return to classics and notable older titles. Except for titles that are in Slovak distribution, we have an access to the Slovak Film Institute film archive and we do our own special programming of films not released in Slovakia. This concerns especially our regular and very successful section with alternative content called “MUSIC & FILM” as well as programming focused on remastered and digitalised world classics. We are participating on more than 15 film festivals each year (including the major Slovak events like Febiofest IFF, Bratislava IFF, human rights film festivals like One World, Slovak Queer Film Festival, Festival of the Freedom, etc.), these helps us have an access to contemporary cinema, new films that are unfortunately not planned to be released in Slovakia.
And film education? The Slovak Film Institute runs a special educational programme of four semesters on film language and history called “Filmový kabinet”. This is a very successful programme and we will start its fourth edition in January 2019. In the cooperation with the Association of Slovak Film Clubs there is a special educational programme for primary school kids focused especially on the essence of audiovisual media and animation techniques – “Film Cabinet for Kids”.
The uniqueness of Cinema Lumière lies in the fact that we try to make a room for diversity, for all those films, activities and events that do not have any other space. We welcome you to visit and contact us whenever you are in Bratislava, Slovakia. But please, be aware of the fact that we are a strictly anti-popcorn cinema! On the other hand, you can have the best coffee in the city in our pleasant Kafehaus Lumière.
Zita Hosszúová, Cinema Manager