Opened in 1970 by two film fanatics, the Abaton was one of the first arthouse cinemas in Germany (today there are more than 200). Dedicated to the best of cinematic art, it is THE venue for premieres and sneak previews of international and independent movies from top film festivals, often with guest-speakers. Their thoughtful program of repertory and offbeat cinema including feature documentaries and revivals of old classics draws die-hard cineasts from all over the city.
I love this place not only for their film selection but also because it is one of the few theaters in Hamburg that shows movies with the original soundtrack (unfortunately, most films are dubbed in Germany ). What adds to the charm is the modest but fine variety of snacks and drinks (organic instead of conventional) as well as the slightly worn-out red velvet seats in each of the three auditoriums. What used to be a parking garage has become an institution and a cultural hub where people also go to enjoy music, art and literature.
Located in the Jewish quarter of Hamburg right next to the university, the Abaton is nestled among bars and restaurants buzzing with students and locals. Be sure to try out Abaton’s bistro – a former pizza parlor for students – serving delicious French cuisine.
For those with a tight budget, there are sometimes free test screenings and every Wednesday is “Kinotag” (Cinema Day) with a reduced admission of only € 5.90!