Varšavska 3, the intersection of the city's alleys as well as the geometrical centre connecting the Preradović Square and Frankopanska Street, is the home of the Europa cinema, the oldest and the most beautiful working cinema in Zagreb.
Cinema Europa is an iconic Zagreb movie theater and a protected cultural heritage and national treasure of the Republic of Croatia. It was commissioned by the wealthy Zagreb-based Müller family and built by architect Srećko Florshütz in 1924/25. The goal was to make the most beautiful, important and modern movie theater in this region. These eventful seven decades have seen the changing of street names and political and economic systems but the cinema has maintained its original purpose. Film lovers, couples and chance guests come here to relax, get away from reality and enjoy in good films.
The City of Zagreb bought the cinema after a successful campaign organized by Zagreb Film Festival and Croatian Film Association. Croatian filmmakers' and cultural communities and all film lovers made an appeal to the city authorities to buy the cinema so that it could be preserved for film-screening purposes.
In the early 2008, Zagreb Film Festival was entrusted with the managing of the Cinema Europa in order to turn it into a regional center of cinematic art. Ever since, Cinema Europa has nurtured a program that makes it the leading regional institution for screening of independent contemporary films and a venue for almost all festivals and events in Zagreb.
Its year-round regular program includes some forty independent contemporary films from all over the world and of all categories – feature and short fiction films, animated films, documentary films, experimental films, children's films etc. As many as 17 Croatian film festivals and events found their home on Varšavska Street 3. Our screenings include some thirty premiers of all genres every year. Paying particular attention to children, we show high-quality films intended for pre-school and school-age kids.
In addition to film screenings, the theater and its adjacent halls and lobbies regularly host numerous lectures, round tables, discussions, book and film presentations, performances, exhibitions, musical events and alike. Numerous leading artists and thinkers of our time made a guest appearance in Cinema Europa. Among them are: Gilbert&George, Amos Oz, Erwan Bouroullec, Jorge Bucay, Slavoj Žižek, Tariq Ali, maestro Ivo Lipanović, David Lynch (via video link), Samir Amin, Terry Eagelton, David Harvey, Fred Furedi, Boris Buden, Rastko Močnik, Dušan Makavejev, Antonio Negri, Zygmunt Bauman, Michael Hardt and others.
The cinema currently consists of a large auditorium with 500 seats; Müller Hall with 80 seats; a gift shop offering mostly film-related books, DVDs, gifts, souvenirs, toys, trinkets and similar products; two lobbies accommodating exhibitions, performances, music events, small-scale events and lectures, a bar and a space where audience can mingle before and after events; and offices of Zagreb Film Festival.
The activities and programs of Cinema Europa are supported by the City of Zagreb, Croatian Audiovisual Center, Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Entrepreneurship and Crafts. As our efforts have been recognized by EU institutions, in 2008 Cinema Europa became a full member of Europa Cinemas Network and the International Confederation of Art Cinemas (CICAE). Our programs are also supported by European Union's MEDIA program.
In 2013, the Ministry of Culture passed the Decision declaring Cinema Europa a protected cultural heritage and national treasure of the Republic of Croatia. The cinema's interior with its rich stucco ornaments and post-Secession classicist details is considered one of Zagreb's most beautiful facilities.
We turned Cinema Europa into a center of relevant world cinema in Zagreb and Croatia that educates audiences and informs them about the latest films and different cultures of the world. We have accomplished our goal not only to become a role model and an example, but primarily an important partner to all Croatian cinemas sharing the same vision.