Kino International has been an integral part of Berlin's cultural life and history for almost 60 years. Today, the cinema is listed as a "cultural monument of national importance."
Much has changed since its opening in 1963. In the first thirty years of its existence, the International was the premiere cinema for DEFA classics like Coming Out or Solo Sunny. After German reunification, the house became part of Berlinale, a venue for queer films and parties, and a place for debate. Countless filmmakers have celebrated the premiere of their works here, from debuts to Best Picture winners.
We took great care of the building ever since it became part of Yorck. Just recently, the facade relief was carefully renovated with the help of Stiftung Deutscher Denkmalschutz.
Nevertheless, time has taken its toll after almost six decades of operation. Just about every cable in the building needs to be replaced. And we couldn't meet the cost associated with the renovation of a landmark with income from cinema operations alone - even in regular times.
Thus, we are incredibly pleased about the German parliament's recent commitment to support the construction measures from the federal budget. With additional funding by Lotto Stiftung and Land Berlin, Kino International's renovation and thereby its continued existence are finally secured. We are deeply grateful for the continued support and to everyone who worked to ensure it.
The first works of the multi-year project will begin in 2021. For the significant part of the general renovation, a temporary closure is unavoidable. Until then, however, you will have plenty of time to revisit International.
When everything is finished, the building will shine in its familiar form and yet in new splendor. You will find modern and sustainable projection, lighting, sanitary, and air conditioning technology behind the facade. And you'll finally be able to charge a tablet at Panorama Bar without causing power failures for our refrigerators.
There is still way to go. The pandemic is hitting cinemas around the world hard, and the crisis is not over yet. But especially because times are troubling, we are excited to end 2020 with such good news.
We wish all of you happy holidays and are deeply grateful for your continued support.