Parcels’ top five Berlin arthouse cinemas for date nights
It’s not often that your debut single is co-written and produced by DAFT PUNK, but that’s just one of the highlights that have happened for PARCELS over the past few months. ‘Overnight’ marked a new chapter in Parcels‘ journey, having already seen great success in their own right. The Berlin-via-Byron Bay electronic five-piece have recently played Glastonbury, The Great Escape, Dot to Dot and secured supports with Phoenix, Two Door Cinema Club and Air. Now, they’re set to return to Australian shores next month for a whirlwind tour around the country.
Hitting Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and of course, Byron Bay, the five boys are escaping the German winter for a summer of good times, and we can’t wait to catch them in action! To get to know them a little better, they put together a little guide to their top arthouse cinemas across Berlin, serving as the ideal spots for date nights. But, they’ve also paired their picks with other suggestions on how to enhance the experience, from the best places to get some pre-movie snacks, to a yoga studio in which you can unwind after seeing some bizarre noir films. Check out their guide below, and catch them across the country this January!
“We’re not in Berlin very much these days, rather gallivanting around Europe getting up to all sorts of shenanigans. Fortunately, however we have enough of a grasp on the independent Arthouse cinema scene to share our top 5 with you. Berlin’s a strange and sometimes confusing place, especially for the ignorant, enthusiastic tourist you no doubt are. We’ve accompanied each cinema with a handy location nearby to help complement the expectations or ramifications that come with viewing films in these locations. You can thank us later. This is without a doubt the best guide you will find on the internet listing this particular topic. These are all real places listed in no definitive ranking order. “
Fensterkino + Naked steel piercing and body modification shop
Fensterkino (window cinema, above) shows one film daily at 9pm sharp except for Mondays when it plays three episodes of Star Trek back to back. There’s no popcorn here or much else for that matter. Only 1 euro beers. You know it’s open when a handmade staircase is placed on the street leading up to a shuttered window in an ominous squat at Kreutzigerstraße 21, Friedrichshain. Knock on the window to be admitted. Though the films shown are light hearted usually and the Star Trek nights feel innocent enough, the crowd here is ROUGH and, to avoid sticking out like a sore suntanned, long haired, Australian thumb, we recommend a visit a block away to Naked Steel Piercing and Body Modification shop (pictured below) to acquire some statement pieces so you don’t get hassled by the woman collecting coins. If that’s not enough, roping a dirty street mutt to walk in with you should complete the necessary picture.
LadenKino + Yogibar Yogastudio
You can identify LadenKino by the large block letters out front claiming that THIS IS NOT A CINEMA in German. Don’t believe the hype though because this happening little Arthouse playground has 4 cozy cinema screens out back behind the bar and they show anything from the latest 3D releases to noir films that are banned in most other European countries. There’s a large selection of DVDs for hire as well. The bar out front is nice to debrief and start rebuilding your sanity in after being subjected to whatever you find yourself watching. If that’s not enough to re-settle your jolted soul, just down the street is the Yogibar Yogastudio which will conduct classes in partial broken English if you enquire at the reception.
Rollberg Kino + Lidl
If the other locations sound too extreme, Rollberg is the casual cinema experience you need. It’s also the only one on the list that serves popcorn. So overrun with expat hipsters is the neighbourhood that they don’t even have German subtitles anymore. Come see the latest releases with your less cultured friends and/or lovers to mingle with likeminded slaves to the machine that is the major Hollywood studios and the nameless investors that continue to stifle any flame of originality that dares to exist outside of dingy hidden collectives on society’s fringe. To save some Euros, we recommend the Lidl around the corner to load up on snacks and whatnot to sneak in. Lidl is a German competitor discount supermarket to Aldi with a superior range of chocolate and chips, perfect for slipping into your bag on the way into a tight 90 minute presentation.
Kino International + Alexanderplatz Sparkasse
Kino International is a magnificent relic of the once powerful DDR with giant glass windows touching its distant ceiling and a warm golden glow resonating from every surface. You can watch a range of films here as well as talks from artists and authors. We watched David Sedaris present his new book here in silence while a German voice actor read excerpts from the German translation of the book. Not exactly what we signed up for, and it made for less laughs and more struggling confusion than we’d hoped. After exiting this gorgeous establishment onto the freezing, empty street outside we felt more isolated than ever in this strange and glorious city and once again we asked ourselves whether we could ever feel truly accepted here or if we’ll forever be on it’s fringes, anonymous and unknown. While the ticket office accepts credit card, the snack bar does not so we recommend a stop at the closest free ATM withdrawal at Alexanderplatz Sparkasse to avoid an embarrassing situation.
The Black Lodge + the Späti across the street
While not a cinema so much as a Bar that is also an eerily exact replica of the Black Lodge from Twin Peaks, the back room of the Black Lodge is darkened with Twin Peaks silently and solemnly projected onto the wall night after night from start to finish, seasons one and two. The beers here are expensive by Berlin standards and if you want to complete a season here, our advice would be to stock up on cheap versions of the beers they serve, from memory I have a feeling they were Pilsner Urquells, so as to stick out a significant session without ‘breaking the bank’, as they say. These can be purchased from the Late Night Store aka ‘Späti’ across the road. The bar staff are in no way chill with this so please don’t attempt unless you rank 10 or higher on the scale of ninja. RIP Laura Palmer. (The Späti across the road is unregistered so I can’t find an address but it should be obvious if you search the street yourself.)
PARCELS AUSTRALIAN TOUR DATES 2018
Tuesday 9 January / Northcote Social, Melbourne
Thursday 11 January / The Lansdowne, Sydney
Friday 12 January / Woolly Mammoth, Brisbane
Saturday 13 January / The Northern, Byron
All images supplied by Parcels
Words by Emma Jones