The Rainbow Cinema in Warsaw will be revived. This is how it will look like

The Andrzej Wajda Film Culture Centre has announced that it has completed work on the project documentation. Thanks to them, the Rainbow Cinema in Warsaw will return to the cultural map of the capital! The project of changes was prepared by architects from the studio Biuro Architekt Kaczmarczyk SC. If the works go according to plan, the building will be available for use in 2027.

The new Tęcza cinema in Warsaw will be a combination of tradition and modernity, combining the atmosphere of analogue cinematography with the latest achievements of digital technology. Once all the works are completed, the building will serve as a cultural film centre, being an open and friendly place for all cinema lovers.

One of the key elements of the redevelopment is a modern cinema auditorium, equipped with state-of-the-art audiovisual systems. The auditorium will be able to accommodate 145 audiences, providing an unforgettable film screening experience. A Dolby Atmos sound system and a widescreen will make watching films a real pleasure for all cinema goers. Despite the introduction of state-of-the-art technologies, the Rainbow Cinema will not give up its cinema traditions. It will still be possible to enjoy film screenings from a tape, which pays tribute to the history of cinema and enables a unique cinema experience. The cinema’s design plans to accommodate two projection systems: a state-of-the-art digital DCP and a 35 mm projector to show films from light-sensitive tape. Regardless of the projection source, audiences will be able to enjoy surround sound. In addition, there will be a state-of-the-art director’s room, which will allow for the recording and live broadcasting of events to be held in the cinema. The acoustic design of the cinema includes the possibility of holding panel discussions and conferences, as well as organising intimate musical performances.

We want the new Tęcza cinema to become the cultural heart of Żoliborz, open for a variety of events and meetings. Our aim is not only to promote film, but also to organise concerts, exhibitions, meetings with authors and, above all, workshops and educational events. We want the Tęcza cinema to become the new home of the LET’S DOC Documentary Film Festival for Young Audiences in the future and a place that lives and develops together with our community,” says Joanna Rożen-Wojciechowska, director of the Andrzej Wajda Film Culture Centre.

The designers and authors of the project, Andrzej Kaczmarczyk and Sylwia Bartoszewska of Biuro Architekt Kaczmarczyk SC, emphasise that their aim was not only to preserve the architectural heritage of the building, but also to adapt it to modern needs and accessibility standards. – The architectural composition of this project is a game of solids, proportions – it is a coherent architecture, full of balance and calm, with glazing at the entrance, aspiring to modernity. We bring out the idea of our predecessors through the texture of the plaster, the slimness of the profiles in the glazing. Apart from the pretty lobby, the cinema’s interiors are overwhelmed by the old ‘think ceilings’ and the cramped staircase. “We ‘cut up’ these stuffy spaces in order to pour air and light into the interior through a wide skylight, and to shape the staircase already in a new, more sculptural way,” says Andrzej Kaczmarczyk.

This is how the building looks BEFORE the renovation:

The Rainbow Cinema will be an inclusive place, it is meant to invite both residents and creators, to create an interesting and safe space for them. This idea is also reflected in the architecture – the foyer and the café at the front will be a kind of extension of the street. – We are replacing the tin gate from Suzina Street with glass gates glowing with fuzzy light, behind which we are arranging a narrow coffee bar, consciously a bit cramped and – like in Italian espresso bars – also accessible from the street, where it will always be possible to buy a cinema ticket,” adds the designer.

One of the priorities during the modernisation of the Rainbow cinema was to create an accessible space for people with disabilities. The building has been fully adapted to the needs of people with mobility impairments, including a lift, specially designed seats for disabled viewers and sanitary facilities. In addition, induction loops were included for people with mobility and hearing impairments.

During the modernisation of the Tęcza cinema, great attention was also paid to sustainability and ecology. Thanks to the use of modern technologies and materials with a low environmental impact, the cinema building will be more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly.

The state of preservation of the building and the scale did not inspire optimism. However, it was possible to design a cinema auditorium with professional, state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment, while retaining the aura of a studio cinema with an outdoor space arranged for film screenings. At the front of the building, it has been possible to absorb the foreground of Suzina Street and continue in the form of a ‘Viennese café’, where every passer-by will be able to have a quick espresso in the company of the ‘sgraffito’ figure of Andrzej Wajda and his notes, always present there. We have succeeded in creating the spatial illusion of distant plans framed by a skylight above the loosely hanging flights of stairs in the lobby. It succeeded in exposing the beautiful proportions of the modernist architecture. And all this in the less than six hundred square metres of space we had available,” explains Sylwia Bartoszewska.

Educational cinema

One of the key elements of the cultural activities of the Tęcza cinema will be its educational programme, aimed at children, young people and adults. Through a variety of workshops, lectures and screenings, participants will have the opportunity to explore the secrets of the art of film, develop their skills and broaden their cultural horizons.

The LET’S DOC Documentary Film Festival for Young Audiences, which has so far been hosted by other cinemas in Warsaw, will also move to Suzin. This year’s edition of the event will be held from 13-20 April at Kinoteka and from 14 April to 5 May at VOD Warszawa.

A place for intimate cultural events

The new Tęcza cinema will not only be a venue for film screenings, but also a cultural centre hosting various events such as exhibitions, concerts, meetings with authors or workshops. The functional foyer and the courtyard in the summer will become a place of meetings and interaction for the residents of Żoliborz and all culture lovers.

The Rainbow Cinema will also be open to cooperation with local artists and creators, offering them space to present their works, undertakings and organise artistic events. Cooperation with local talents is part of the philosophy of the Rainbow Cinema as a place open to the local community and supporting the cultural development of the district.

Further steps

The Andrzej Wajda Film Culture Centre has applied for a building permit with detailed designs. In the next step, it will proceed to the procedure of selecting a building contractor and a contract engineer. The opening of the Rainbow Cinema building is planned for 2027.

design: Biuro Architekt Kaczmarczyk SC

source: Andrzej Wajda Film Culture Centre

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