KinoGram places cinema culture at the heart of Wola’s Norblin

Wojciech Smarzowski (right), director of Wesele (The Wedding), talking to fellow film director Borys Lankosz after the showing of the film at KinoGram on Monday 11 October. Photos courtesy of KinoGram
Wojciech Smarzowski (right), director of Wesele (The Wedding), talking to fellow film director Borys Lankosz after the showing of the film at KinoGram on Monday 11 October. Photos courtesy of KinoGram

Agnieszka Holland, James Bond, Wesele, Oscar and opera blend at vintage cinema complex in Norblin Factory

The KinoGram complex of 7 classic cinemas with a total of 525 velvet seats has opened at Norblin Factory, the new mixed-use office, retail, entertainment, cultural and gastronomic complex in a converted metal factory developed by Capital Park Group, and it’s bringing a passion for cinema and the arts to the capital city’s business and residential area, blending new releases such as James Bond, Dune and House of Gucci with recent Polish fare such as Wesele, and adding concerts, recitals and opera showings into the mix. The new arts centre also houses the headquarters of the Polish Directors Guild (Gildią Reżyserów Polskich). 

A new place for creative discussion – Agnieszka Holland

“This is an important moment for us,” said Agnieszka Holland, film director, honorary president of the Polish Directors’ Guild and president of the European Film Academy. “We are creating cinema in a new place and in a new way. We want to create a place for creative discussion about film and broadly understood art in various environments. We hope that, as the largest organization of film directors in Poland, we will draw a lot of creative energy from everyday meetings in (Norblin) Factory with other artists, and also create a place whose activities will have a significant impact on the image of the film community in Poland.”

KinoGram has 7 screens and a total of 525 seats, as well as - at 14m - one of the longest bars in Warsaw, and an art gallery.
KinoGram has 7 screens and a total of 525 seats, as well as - at 14m - one of the longest bars in Warsaw, and an art gallery.

Oscar-in-residence

Kinogram already boasts a famous permanent resident in the form of an Oscar – the Oscar won by composer Jan Kaczmarek for his ‘Finding Neverland’ film score, which won an Academy Award in 2004. “We want KinoGram to be a place to encounter culture in the broad sense of the word – first of all cinema, but also opera, theatre, music, painting and even sculpture. We hope that the calendar of events will attract every viewer who expects something more from the cinema,” said Anna Zoll, director of KinoGram.

KinoGram houses the headquarters of the Polish Directors Guild.
KinoGram houses the headquarters of the Polish Directors Guild.

Kinga Nowakowska, Board Member and Operations Director at Capital Park, and a prime force behind the Norblin Factory scheme – in particular KinoGram – spoke with pride about the scheme. “After many years of complicated preparatory, and then construction and conservation works, we are happy to start KinoGram during the revitalization of Norblin Factory. This is an original project and a unique cinema. From the very beginning we wanted culture to play one of the key roles here. We could not imagine Norblin Factory without a cinema and we had a very specific idea for it. We are particularly proud that such recognized professionals with many years of experience in the film industry have agreed to support us in this, such as the Polish Directors’ Guild. KinoGram is a foretaste of the cultural elements that Norblin Factory will gradually unveil.”

The latest in cinema equipment

For silver screen aficionados, each cinema is equipped with velvet sofas and armchairs as well as wooden tables. Two of the seven cinema rooms have the Dolby ATMOS sound system and the movies will be shown in 2K and 4K picture quality provided by Barco cinema projectors from the latest line of laser projectors SP4K and SP2K, which was launched only in November last year, and systems from JBL Professional, an American manufacturer of audio solutions with 75 years of industry experience. The halls are equipped with screens from the British company Harkness Screens, providing high contrast, high definition colors and high image quality. Additionally, 3D films will be screened on two screens.

The cinema hub will also screen opera performances and concerts from around the world.
The cinema hub will also screen opera performances and concerts from around the world.

KinoGram has already launched its ‘1×1’ series, where a screening of a film is followed by a well-known director holding a Q&A with the director of the film just screened. So far the following films have been featured: “Jak najdalej stąd” (I Never Cry) directed by Piotr Domalewski, “Czarna owca” (Black Sheep) directed by Aleksandra Pietrzak, “Magnezja” directed by Maciej Boczniak, “Sweat” directed by Magnus von Horn, “Amatorzy” (Amateurs) directed by Agnieszka Siekierzyńska, and “Żeby nie było śladów” (Leave No Traces) directed by Jan P. Matuszyński. For film directors themselves, it will be a place to meet film watchers as well as holding castings and rehearsals. 

Capital Park Group is a partner of Poland Today Connect, a network of companies, cities and institutions dedicated to promoting Poland as a business destination and Polish business abroad. 

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Written by: Richard Stephens