A unique art house cinema with two cinema halls in Tallinn city centre

Tallinn, Estonia
Client: Tallinnfilm
Commission: 2009
Completed: 2010
Size: 1,000 m2

The only state funded art house cinema in Tallinn, Artis Cinema, is located on the second floor of the Solaris shopping centre, and the offices of Tallinnfilm are located on the third floor. This popcorn-free cinema with two cinema halls (181 and 72 seats) primarily screens European films but during its five years has also screened most Estonian feature films.

The motivation behind the interior design is to convey the idea that we are all protagonists. The audience is already interested in the film when they enter the shopping centre on the ground floor and are greeted as the main character in a light box with a promotional poster. The steps leading up to the cinema are lit and the stair risers are used to advertise up-coming films. The black and white colour scheme used to create the general atmosphere in the cinema, lobby and café references film noir and black and white Estonian film classics.

In the lobby, a familiar red carpet into which lines from film scripts have been woven directs the visitor to the ticket counter and from there into the cinema hall. Visitors can find quotes and screenshots from Estonian movies on many of the other interior design elements. Some of the seats in both cinema halls have been covered with printed fabrics that depict scenes from beloved Estonian movies: the seats of one of the halls depict a scene from Bumpy, the in the other from Naughty Curves. The light boxes on the backs of the couches in the café depict images from Priit Pärn’s animated films and the mural in the children’s playroom is by animation director, Avo Paistik.