By Becky Tan
Nothing is too super for Savoy. Therefore, logically, the premiere opening on June 20 will be Man of Steel, the new Superman film. English speakers enthusiastically anticipate this new English-language cinema in Hamburg.
Gary Rohweder, general manager, said that Savoy has been completely renovated with comfort in mind. The 300 luxurious seats insure more space, especially in the balcony where there are 1.65 meters between the rows. For the comfort of the guests there will be an open bar and a wide variety of delicious snacks. Two to six films will show in English each week. Prices will be reasonable.
The power behind the idea is Hans-Joachim Flebbe. In 1991 he founded the first of a long chain of Cinemaxx cinemas. Almost 20 years later, he was no longer connected with Cinemaxx. He went on to establish art cinemas called Premium Kinos or Astor Film Lounges, in Berlin, Munich, Cologne, and Frankfurt. Hamburg’s Savoy will belong to this group of Astor Film Lounges and reflect the same high comfort and entertainment possibilities.
Manager Rohweder is the right man for the job. An energetic, mid-40s, native of Hamburg, he managed Streit’s cinema for over three and a half years. He has more than 13 years’ experience as a journalist, film scout and distributor, as well as work in marketing and service. He has attended many film festivals, near and far, including Cannes, Edinburgh, and Thessaloniki. He is genuinely interested in people and a real film fan.
The actual Savoy building has a long history. It first opened in 1957 (a short time after Streit’s cinema opened, actually) with 957 seats. It went through several changes and then closed in 1988, only to reopen shortly afterwards to show films in Hindi and Turkish. That slowly went downhill, until it was finally the site of an oriental super market. There was talk of tearing down the whole building. In 2008 Metropolis cinema moved in for three years, while its original spot at Stephansplatz was being rebuilt. It hosted a Hamburg short film festival. Three years later Metropolis returned to its designated location and there was renewed talk of tearing down Savoy. Perhaps it is a huge stroke of luck that Streit’s closed when it did, because it presented Herr Flebbe with a golden opportunity, which he was quick enough to recognize. Otherwise, Savoy might be standing no longer.
Savoy is located at Steindamm 52-54, 20099 Hamburg (St. Georg). Tickets are available at the ticket counter, or phone 040-52388224 or online at www.savoy-filmtheater.de.
It is an eight-minute walk from Hauptbahnhof. Exit on the Kirchenalle side. Cross Kirchenallee and walk down Steindamm which starts at the southern-most end of Hauptbahnhof on Kirchenallee. Continue walking through the intersection of Stralsunder Str/Kreuzweg/Pulverteich. A few minutes after this intersection you’ll see Savoy on the right side.
Now it’s up to us to guarantee that this new cinema will be a huge success!