The cinema was built in 1924 by the Muller family from Zagreb as designed by the architect Srećko Florschutz. Its interior, with its rich plaster decorations and post-secession classicistic details, is considered to be one of the most beautiful spaces in the city. For the past 70 years it has functioned as a classic cinema, which had operated under the name Balkan up to the beginning of the 1990s.
In the 1930s the inhabitants of Zagreb were discovering the beauty of Gance's Lucrezia Borgia on these premises, in the 50's they could talk to Miškec, the legendary vagabond from Zagreb who used to live in the boiler room of the cinema, in the 60's they used to attend "new" film premieres, but some of which would be as late as several months or years. Audiences today still visits the Europa cinema with the same enthusiasm.
During these tumultuous seven decades the names of the neighbouring steeets have been changed as well as the political and economic systems but the cinema has still maintained its original function - film enthusiasts, lovers and passers-by still come here to relax, escape reality, enjoy and watch a good film. Despite or maybe even in spite of changes, the cinema has always remained a cinema so we are keen to say that it holds an important place on the cultural map of Zagreb and that it has been taking an active part in film and city life.
The importance and cultural significance of the cinema was recognized by the citizens of Zagreb, the Croatian film clubs' association and the Zagreb Film Festival (ZFF) in 2007, when they jointly supported the boisterous and bold action Give me the Cinema which was supposed to appeal to the city authorities to buy the cinema and maintain its original use. In 2008, after the joint success of the public and institutions, the management of the cinema was entrusted with the organisation of the Zagreb Film Festival.
Under the management of the ZFF, the Europa cinema has remained a cult place which put an even greater emphasis on the promotion and spreading of the seventh art. It now shows independent films from all over the world, winners of the leading world festivals as well as the less known films which would normally never find their way to the big screens within the standard multiplex programmes.
In the last couple of years the Europa cinema has become known as the national as well as regional film centre and the key place for showing high-quality new films made in Croatia or in other neighbouring countries. However, special efforts have been made to show and promote local films.
Europa is the host of most Croatian film festivals and film programmes such as Animafest, Subversive Film Festival, Queer Zagreb, One Take Film Festival, Jewish Film Festival, ZFF, BH Film Days. With its 505 seats, two monumental lobbies, a cafe' and its relaxed atmosphere, the cinema is an ideal space for film premieres, exhibitions, promotions and lectures. All these events are attended by a great number of people, who make the cinema vibrant all year round.
All of our work and efforts were recognized even by some European institutions so since the end of 2008 two important certificates have had their place on the wall above the bar - one awarded by the network Europa Cinemas and another one by the CICAE, the network of European arthouse cinemas.
Being aware of the rich history of the cinema, we are striving to justify its cult status by restoring it and making its space even more beautiful and by ensuring good film programmes. These huge efforts are all being made in order to reach one goal - ensuring that the Europa cinema remains the true film centre of Zagreb and Croatia.
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Due to a long-time poor offer in film art, lack of venues for running non-repertory and non-commercial movies as well as lack of places where one can see archive classic contents, contemporary and recent production or alternative and amateur film, for the needs for educational content for some fifty thousand high-school and university students in Zagreb, whose studying is linked with the media culture i.e. film history, the Croatian Film Association in cooperation with the Croatian Cinemateque launched in 2001 the Film Programs.
In the era of total commercialization, the Croatian Film Association decided to establish, through the programs in the Cinema Tuškanac, a center of film culture in Zagreb, a place for gathering of not only film connoisseurs but primarily high-school and university students which make up the largest part of the Tuškanac audience.
On 18th June 2009, RESTART Association and the company Croatia film together reopened the once cult cinema hall equipped with 37 cozy armchairs and turned it into a documentary cinema. During the year they have strived to stay up to date with the current film trends on the documentary scene and provide Zagreb audiences with the freshest and most interesting documentary titles.
In addition to the films in regular distribution, they also follow a great number of regional festivals with a documentary section of the program (Zagreb Film Festival, Motovun Film Festival, Sarajevo Film Festival, Liburnia Film Festival,…), organize special screenings and author presentations and hold regular Q&As with directors after screenings. They also give greater visibility to national and regional authors in Docucinema’s program, therefore, in the past year have screened about 30 Croatian films.
With the Croatia Film cinema club’s cozy café bar and an additional venue for educational programs aim is to establish Docucinema as a vocal point for documentary film meetings.
ZAGREB DANCE CENTER
Zagreb Dance Center opened its doors on 26 October 2009 and it was the first venue in Croatia built exclusively for dancing purposes. ZDC was conceived as a cinema-dance center which will promote, through residential and other programs, the development of a new generation of choreographs in Zagreb and Croatia. ZDC also supports research, creativity and the production of contemporary dance choreographies. In cooperation with the ZDC and through various programs the Croatian Institute for Movement and Dance promotes a more dynamic integration of the City of Zagreb and Croatian dance artists into the Europe and world projects through a rich program of international cooperation in culture.
Throughout the year the ZDC program offers a wide choice of dance events where you can not only follow dance shows, dance movies but also meet with dance artists and actively participate in various dance educational activities. All activities are accessible not only to those with a certain level of dancing experience – dance in ZDC is for everyone!
MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART
The Museum, linking the old and the New Zagreb is a unique place of gathering, learning, fun and entertainment. Over six hundred art pieces from the Collection of the Museum, from both domestic and international artists is exhibited as permanent display on the three floors, roof terraces and outdoor space while occasional exhibitions are being held in the two-floor southern wing, in the NO Gallery on ground floor and on the western media facade, thus emphasizing openness and flexibility of the building designed by the architect Igor Franić.
From 23 September through 17 October 2012 in the premises of the Museum reserved for occasional exhibitions the integral opus of Croatian artists Ivan Ladislav Galeta will be presented, under the title 'Point Zero Landscape'. This is the first retrospective of this artist who enjoys a cult status among fans and connoisseurs of film and video art. Exhibition will be accompanied by a rich and diverse educational program with a number of lectures and workshops under the leadership of experts such as film theorist Hrvoje Turković, Ph. D., art historian Markita Franulić, the physicist Antonio Šiber, artist Željko Kipke to the conversation with Krešimir Mišak, the author of the popular TV show ''On the Verge of Science''. Program will also include some non-artistic areas: chess and fussball tournaments, gardening...It is important to mention that the exhibition of the artist Ivan Ladislav Galeta is the only one you can bike in for half a price!
In October, the NO Gallery will be offering to its visitors a program under the name “Multiplicidad”, an exhibition of contemporary Spanish artists, belonging to street-art scene. Access for all exhibitions in NO Gallery is free.
Here are the directions to our festival locations.