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A classic Budapest cinema reopens as the Premier Kultcafé

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  • Dezse Balázs

21/03/2016 4.28pm

Following a major renovation, downtown Pest’s historic Vörösmarty Cinema – built in 1935, but closed down in recent years – is now open again as a stylish community center called Premier Kultcafé, thanks to a Hungarian nonprofit organization that works to assist people with disabilities. The 600-square-meter complex includes a café and a bakery that already welcome the public, but film screenings and organized events are planned to occur here in the near future.

In the past, Vörösmarty Cinema was one of the city’s most popular movie theaters, but in recent years it became a dilapidated venue showing only second-run films – and while this business plan kept it popular for awhile as a cheap-date destination, about two years ago the place closed down. Fortunately, this development did not spell the end for yet another beloved Budapest cinema, because now the Vörösmarty is open again under the name Premier Kultcafé, with a brand-new and broadened concept.

Photo: Juhász Norbert - We Love Budapest

This new venue – operating as a cinema, event center, and café serving Hungary’s cherished Cserpes products – is Europe’s largest disabled-friendly community center with large-screen cinema facilities.

Operated by the nonprofit Fogadj Örökbe Egy Macit Alapítvány (Adopt a Teddy Bear) organization, founded by warm-hearted Hungarian actress Mari Törőcsik, the Premier Kultcafé furthers the group’s special job-creation program by establishing a workplace that actively hires people with disabilities.

Photo: Juhász Norbert - We Love Budapest

In the beginning, this nonprofit organization considered opening a small café where disadvantaged people could be employed, but after a series of events, the project grew in size and scope: in 2014 they saw an irresistible opportunity to give new life to the abandoned and empty Vörösmarty Cinema.

Photo: Juhász Norbert - We Love Budapest

During the modernization works, the old 55-seat theater hall was renovated with soundproofing and new cinema technology; they also refurbished the other rooms, making them easily accessible for disabled people. The main hall is now suitable for company events, concerts, smaller performances, reading nights, or exhibitions, while in the smaller hall visitors can watch independent films twice every week from the beginning of April. A small store also has a place in the building, offering design products made by disabled people.

Photo: Juhász Norbert - We Love Budapest

The building will also please architecture fans, as its original arched ceiling – built in 1935, but hidden under a false ceiling for many years – is now visible again, creating a spacious setting for this heartwarming hangout.
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