illuminated interiors of historic german cinemas captured by david altrath

illuminated interiors of historic german cinemas captured by david altrath

german photographer, david altrath, captures the illuminated interiors of eleven historic cinemas found throughout the city of hamburg in his photo series — ‘lichtspielhäuser’. the title of the series, an old german phrase, translates as ‘a place where light is played’; licht meaning light, and spielhaus meaning playhouse. with over a century of history, each of the cinemas are the last active in the city, as video streaming becomes increasingly popular.

astor film lounge hamburg, ASTOR 2
all images by david altrath



established since the early 1900s, the cinemas depict the architectural styles of the past. renovated over time with completely new state-of-the-art LED lights and furnishings, the interior of the cinemas still hint at their original identities in the layout and structure of the halls; some can still be seen with vintage light fixtures and 20th century decors. through his photographs, the 24-year-old photographer addresses his concern that ‘many people nowadays enjoy movies and series at home on the couch and mostly not in public places.’ 

metropolis kino hamburg

astor film lounge hamburg, ASTOR 1

MAGAZIN-filmkunsttheater hamburg

holi kino hamburg

passage kino hamburg, saal 3

astor film lounge hamburg, clubkino

zeise kinos hamburg, saal 1

zeise kinos hamburg, saal 2

savoy filmtheater hamburg

passage kino hamburg, saal 1



project info:


project: lichtspielhäuser

photographer: david altrath

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