This former cinema in the ‘Army House’ (in Albanian ‘Shtëpia e Armatës’, from which it gets its name) was reopened in 2018. The building’s story is an index to Kosovo’s history from the Second World War. At that time, this was part of the Yugoslav Army’s headquarters in Kosovo, though open to the public for films, but after the NATO campaign of 1999 and Serbia’s withdrawal from Kosovo, the building was part of the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) headquarters.
As that mission reduced, on Kosovo’s declaration of independence, the building became part of the EU’s rule of law mission, EULEX. Continuing that narrative it is inspiring to think that the new Kino Armata could be a vision of Kosovo’s future. It’s a funky place of live music, film showings and other cultural events, with plenty of retro design detail. It describes itself as a public place that ‘promotes alternative culture and social dialogue’. I’ve been here for events as diverse as a local producers’ fair and a prizegiving for people considered ‘Changemakers’ in Kosovan society.