From Iceland — Bíó Paradís Is Closing

Bíó Paradís Is Closing

Published January 30, 2020

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Timothee Lambrecq

Reykjavík independent theatre and cultural institution Bíó Paradís will be closing as soon as three months from now, RÚV reports. According to sources close to the news desk, the matter concerns an uncertain future for the property the theatre is housed in.

Hrönn Sveinsdóttir, the managing director of Bíó Paradís, told Vísir that this is indeed the case. She told reporters that the company which owns the property, Karls mikla ehf., have long been interested in charging “a natural market price in the rent”, which in this case will mean increasing it by 300% to 400%.

More than a theatre

Employees of Bíó Paradís have been given three months’ notice, and operations will continue as normal through the spring. A director’s meeting of Heimili kvikmyndanna, the company which runs Bíó Paradís, will be convened this morning to discuss the future of the cinema.

Bíó Paradís has been a part of Reykjavík cultural life since 2010. Since its inception, its emphasis has been on arthouse films from around the world, participation in the Reykjavík International Film Festival, as well as smaller one-off events.

The local cinema

These points of emphasis have certainly borne fruit for the cinema. By 2012 it was earning praise from the Grapevine as “a welcome oasis in that barren wasteland of American teenflicks that is the Icelandic cinema scene. We had long been hoping for an arthouse cinema in this country. That we got one as good as Bíó Paradís is something of an accident,” as Valur Gunnarsson wrote at the time.

Bíó Paradís has also consistently won Best Cinema by our Best Of panel, and not just for its selection of films. The relaxed atmosphere, the importance they place on films passing the Bechdel test, and even the theatre’s bar have all earned well-deserved praise.

The Grapevine encourages its readers to check out what Bíó Paradís has to offer and enjoy the experience of catching a film there now, before we bid them adieu with a heavy heart.

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