Kinodvor offers a diverse programme of screenings and events that celebrate film. We believe that the cinema experience is at the heart of film, and we are dedicated to upholding its heritage and development.
Kinodvor champions cinema for all. We enable young audiences to experience film through the award-winning Kinobalon, Kinobalon for Schools and Kinotrip programmes. We publish an annual catalogue for schools, and provide comprehensive educational materials for young audiences. For our older cinema-goers, we are proud to offer senior audiences a generous range of screenings, discussions and guest appearances through the Film Rendez-Vous programme. More than just a cinema theatre, Kinodvor is part of a national and global dialogue around cinema culture.
Kinodvor and The City of Ljubljana are collaborating on an exciting new venue envisioned for the Ajdovščina underpass in Ljubljana’s city centre. The miniplex will hold one big and three smaller screening halls, and constitute a cultural hub to work in tandem with 13 Kolodvorska to provide a home for the city’s flourishing cinema culture, with an emphasis on attracting new, young audiences.
In the 1920s, cinema theatres were being constructed in cities across Europe as pillars of modernity and prestige. Ljubljana was no exception, and the Ljubljanski Dvor City Cinema was built in 1923 as the city’s luxury cinema in late Art Nouveau style at 13 Kolodvorska. In 1923, the Austrian film entitled Young Medardus (Der Junge Medardus) was screened at Ljubljanski Dvor. The historical spectacle, based on Arthur Schnitzler’s play of the same name, was an early work of Hungarian director Michael Kertesz who, twenty years later, would go on to direct award-winning Hollywood classic ‘Casablanca’ under the name Michael Curtiz. The core programme projected silent films by the finest European and American directors of the era, including Fritz Lang, Cecil B. DeMille, Charlie Chaplin, Abel Gance and Jean Renoir. Among the many films screened was Erotikon, starring Slovenia’s first film star, Ita Rina, in a seductive breakout performance.
In 1935, the Sloga railwaymen’s cultural society assumed management of the re-named Kino Sloga until the state claimed ownership of all Slovenian cinemas in 1946. The Sloga Cinema gaining notoriety in the 1980s through the screening of erotic films until its rebirth as Kino Dvor (the Dvor Cinema) in the 1990s. During the early 2000s the first large-scale multiplexes emerged in Slovenia’s suburbs, posing a considerable challenge to smaller city cinemas. To preserve the heritage of the site, the Municipality of Ljubljana (MOL), the Ministry of Culture, and the Slovenian Cinematheque agreed to renovate and re-establish the Dvor Cinema as a home for contemporary art films, assuming its current name, Kinodvor.
In 2008 the MOL established the Kinodvor Public Institution, and, after a brief closure, the Kinodvor Cinema was re-opened in October 2008. Represented by the slogan “Kinodvor. City Cinema“, Kinodvor offered Ljubljana a new type “event cinema”, enriching the audience’s experience with special screenings and events.
Year of Cinema
In 2013, Kinodvor celebrated its 90th anniversary. The Year of Cinema was set out to highlight the history of cinema in Ljubljana, offering a captivating perspective on the development of Slovenian film culture. This ambitious project was organised in partnership with the Slovenian Cinemateque, whose generous archive provided the basis for extensive research and collection of preserved historical material. The results have offered precious insight into our understanding of Ljubljana’s art-house cinema culture, and have illuminated the ways in which our plans for a new city (art-house) miniplex are placed meaningfully within this tradition.
In its first decade, Kinodvor has made important steps forward in all directions. We have supported and actively participated as much in the revitalisation and digitisation of the national network of city and art cinemas as in the shaping of national strategies in the area of film education. We have doubled our number of films being screened, the number of visitors, and the number of people employed by the city cinema. Now, together with the Municipality of Ljubljana, we are developing plans for a new city miniplex in the Ajdovscina underpass with extra screens, giving the opportunity for a new and diverse program to inspire new audiences.
From its inception, Kinodvor has played an active role in the international film community. In 2009, Kinodvor organised our first international conference, ‘Networks and the Digitisation of Art Cinemas’, to promote the digitisation and revitalisation of cinemas in the Slovenian arthouse network. In its ‘Year of Cinema‘, Kinodvor hosted the ‘City of Film‘ international conference to examine and discuss the future of cinemas and their important role as community and cultural spaces. In 2014 and 2018 we offered international conferences on film education, aimed at cultural and educational institutions alike (summary of the 2nd conference). In the summer of 2018, Kinodvor collaborated in Cinemini Europe: led by Holland’s EYE Film Institute, the project formed another fantastic opportunity to meet with our European partners to deepen our understanding and knowledge in the field of film education for the very youngest of audiences.
Kinobalon has been awarded the Europa Cinemas award for the best programme for children and young people 2010. Kinodvor is also the proud recipient of the Creativity Gong Award for 2010.
We are a member of the Slovenian Art Cinema Association. Kinodvor is also part of the Europa Cinemas network, ECFA – European Children’s Film Association and CICAE – Confédération internationale des cinémas d’art et d’essai.
The City of Ljubljana is with its activities devoted to various vulnerable groups which also include the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.