Vondelpark Open Air Theatre
Since the 1970s, Vondelpark has been an epicentre for culture and social life in the city with many theatre shows, gigs and parties organised there. Every summer the open-air theatre in the middle of the park loads up its programme with a range of children’s performances, comedy, dance, opera, classical and pop concerts. A lot is going on every Saturday and Sunday from May until early September creating a great atmosphere with lots to enjoy for the whole family.
This modest building at Overtoom 301 has a lot more to it than meets the eye and has lived many lives. First, a film academy and later an artist’s squat, OT301 is now a multifunctional cultural centre owned by a not-for-profit collective. If you walk around a bit during one of the many music events or club nights, you’ll find a warren of corridors leading to rooms for yoga, dance workshops, courses and debates as well as a radical cinema and the vegan restaurant De Peper. The spirit of the venue promotes the merging of art and politics, providing a space for Amsterdam’s many subcultures.
The programming of the quirky cult cinema, Lab111 is as unconventional as the setting. Located in a former pathological anatomical lab, you’ll find a range of special screenings, animated features, modern classic and in-depth documentaries on the agenda alongside regular showings with English subtitles. The space also hosts contemporary art exhibitions, lectures and concerts whilst the media cafe, studios and workshop rooms are a great meeting ground for the city’s creatives to discuss ideas or grab a bite to eat.
Located at the end of the Overtoom, OCCII is an independent and not-for-profit music venue that, like several of Amsterdam’s cultural centres, credits its development to the squatting movement of the late 80s and 90s. The colourful Russian folk designs on the tall doors at the front of the building hint to its original purpose as a stable and tram depot. In the programming, you’ll find a range of alternative musical genres including noise, hardcore, acoustic, rave, electronic and punk acts.
Housed in the heritage-listed Parkkerk close to Vondelpark, Orgelpark is an international concert hall that aims to give a new face to the church organ in contemporary music culture. During unique performances which unfold throughout the year, the organ takes centre stage but is integrated into new musical presentations by organists, composers and other artists.
De Filmhallen is the largest independent cinema in the Netherlands, housed in another spectacularly repurposed building - this time a former tram depot. With its nine screens and varied programming, film-enthusiasts will always find something new to watch from the latest Hollywood releases to festival programming and quality world cinema. Don’t miss the Parisien Auditorium which is outfitted in the authentic art deco interiors taken from the old Filmmuseum in Vondelpark.