Nordisk Film Biografer Palads

Copenhagen, Denmark | C.1912

Photo Credit: @visitcopenhagen

This bright pastel structure is the Nordisk Film Biografer Palads, known simply as the “Palads.” It is Denmark’s largest cinema, with 17 screening auditoriums and a seating capacity of 2,600. It is also Copenhagen’s oldest cinema, almost continually in use for over 100 years.

The first Palads was established in an unlikely place – inside a former railway station. It was spacious, and after some reconstruction, the cinema opened in 1911 with almost 3,000 seats and a 30-man orchestra. At the time, it was the largest entertainment venue in Scandinavia, and became immensely popular.

It was so popular in fact, that it outgrew the train station. Just six years after opening, the station was demolished to make way for a more modern theater. Architects Andreas Clemmensen and Johan Nielsen designed the new Neoclassical theater in 1917, including a ballroom and a restaurant in the complex. On the roof is a sculpture entitled, “Ursus and the Bull,” by artist Kai Nielsen, added in 1918.

Despite years of success, diminishing crowds eventually threatened the theater’s existence. In an attempt to revitalize the Palads, Nordisk Film had the complex restructured into 12 auditoriums in 1978 to allow several different movies to play at once. The strategy was a success, and a year later, five more auditoriums opened in the basement. Artist Paul Gernes painted the exterior in its distinctive rainbow pastels in 1989. 

Today, the Palads offers the widest selection of films in Denmark. It also hosts special events, including ballet performances and movie marathons.  

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