Kino Sõprus is a legend on its own – as the oldest existing cinema in Estonia it is continually considered as the only real art-house cinema, due to its non-mainstream and quirky film selection. The building with its grand façade was commissioned in Tallinn old town in 1955 at the height of Stalinism. Since 2010 the cinema is operated by MTÜ Must Käsi / NGO Black Hand.
Our biggest triumph is the knowledge of the Kino Sõprus brand among the audience and that this cinema has served its audience well for 64 years. Our number of visitors has been growing steadily and we had a record year in 2018 with more than 60 000 visitors!
Kino Sõprus has regained its street credibility as a cinema where no compromises are made. It is cinema for retrospectives: Kusturica, Bergman, Pasolini, Jarmush etc, author cinema screenings, documentary evenings, and our newest programme Film School that has a film-related lecture before the film. Our main strategy is to maintain and continue the tradition of exhibiting both classic and contemporary films, mostly but not only from Europe, that do not fit to standard multiplex format. Our selection is liked by people who don’t see cinema as an everyday light entertainment, a place to pass your time by, but see that cinema is a way to enrich lives and touch souls.
We work with different age groups and audiences. Sõprus has a special programme for seniors that takes place twice a month, has low ticket price, and has an introduction from film subject’s expert or, if it is a local film, film crew member. We are especially proud of our programmes for high school students. We screen new Estonian films in our Kooliseansid programme and educational documentaries in our Klassiga Kinno programme. We see it as a way to grow our audience, to show young people that film doesn’t only have to be what they see in popcorn cinemas, and as we provide study guides / extra materials we show that film can also be an exciting way of learning.
PS! Sõprus means “friendship” in Estonian!
Find out more about Kino Sõprus Ambassador here: