EYE Filmmuseum

Located in one of Amsterdam’s most distinctive modern buildings, right next to A’DAM LOOKOUT on the northern bank of the River IJ, Eye Film Museum is an active cinema, film museum, and archive all rolled up into one fantastic attraction. This popular destination for film afficionados shows new, classic, and rare films, hosts educational talks on a variety of film-related subjects, and possesses a memorable permanent collection of film paraphernalia.

Money Saving Tip! EYE Filmmuseum is included on the I Amsterdam City Pass. If you are sightseeing in Amsterdam, then you can save a lot of money with the pass.

History of Eye Film Museum

Eye Film Museum traces its roots back to 1946, when a team of film enthusiasts and industry professionals including individuals like Piet Meerburg, Paul Kijzer, David van Staveren, and others established the Netherlands Historical Film Archive (NHFA) for the purpose of preserving films they deemed to possess a certain degree of artistic merit. By the early 1950s, the NHFA had garnered enough recognition that the Stedelijk Museum—as part of its dedication to honoring contemporary art—brought the organization under its umbrella. The NHFA changed its name to the Nederlands Filmmuseum and began screening films at the Stedelijk.

By the 1970s, the Filmmuseum had outgrown the Stedelijk, and so for a time it moved its base of operations to the Vondelpark pavilion. This stately building served as a suitable home until the end of the twentieth century, when the Filmmuseum came close to moving to Rotterdam. The threat of losing this cultural treasure to another city sparked efforts to procure Filmmuseum its very own facility. In 2012, after years of discussion, debate, planning, and copious fundraising efforts, Eye Film Museum opened the doors of its new location. This striking, state-of-the-art structure has quickly become an Amsterdam landmark and one of the anchors of the rapidly developing Overhoeks neighborhood.

Eye Film Museum Highlights

Eye Film Museum is most famous for its multiple screening rooms, exhibition spaces, and film festivals. By their very nature, the majority of Eye Film Museum’s exhibitions are temporary and ever-changing, but year in and year out this acclaimed film institute hosts retrospectives on the careers of cinema’s greatest directors, screens innovative contemporary films and long-lost classics, and sponsors a host of inventive live programming.

In addition to its regular film screenings, guest lectures, and special festivals, Eye Film Museum contains what it calls Permanent Presentation: those portions of the museum that are established fixtures of the attraction. The centerpiece of this compelling exhibit is Panorama. Located on the facility’s ground floor, Panorama contains a remarkable array of historic film devices, artifacts, and memorabilia. Standout pieces of this impressive collection include a mutoscope that shows a Charlie Chaplin film, a 35mm camera used in the production of multiple legendary films, and the Film Catcher: an interactive space that allows visitors to call up clips from one of the approximately 55,000 films in the institute’s archives.

Other highlights of Eye Film Museum include Eye Listen, where visitors can listen to a cameraperson, scriptwriter, composer, and editor each discuss how their contributions made an iconic movie scene happen; Eye on Set, the museum’s collection of roughly 100,000 photographs from various film sets; and the Poster Gallery, where selections from the institute’s over 50,000-strong film poster collection proudly hang.

More to See and Do at Eye Film Museum

Eye Film Museum is Amsterdam’s preeminent destination for cinephiles. You’ll find below a few more ideas for things to see and do while you’re visiting this popular attraction.

•Eye Film Museum regularly presents cutting-edge contemporary films that make radical use of VR technology as part of its Xtended series. The works screened as part of the Xtended program permit viewers to feel as though they’re actually moving about in the midst of the cinematic production, which makes for a truly immersive experience. Well-known artists whose work has screened at Eye Film Museum as part of Xtendedinclude Marina Abramović, Laurie Anderson, Tsai Ming-liang, and Alejandro G. Iñárritu.

•Families visiting Eye Film Museum will want to partake in “Eye Explore More,” a puzzle tour of the institute’s incredible facility. Eye Explore More comes in booklet form, and is completely free: just ask for your complimentary copy at the front desk and let your adventure begin! Eye Explore More is designed for kids seven years and older.

•No matter whether you’re visiting Eye Film Museum for a film screening, temporary exhibition, or guest lecture, the Eye Bar Restaurant is a terrific spot to sip a coffee, share a cocktail, or enjoy a meal. The Eye Bar Restaurant serves lunch, dinner, snacks, and dessert in a casual dining area that features floor-to-ceiling windows offering breathtaking views of Amsterdam and the River IJ.

•Any film buff drawn to the Eye Film Museum in the first place will want to make certain to stop in at the Eye Shop. This hip gift store sells a carefully curated assortment of DVDs, books, film memorabilia, souvenirs, and more perfect for any film fanatic.

•There is a large park located directly next to Eye Film Museum. This lovely green space is situated adjacent to a walking path that runs alongside the River IJ. If you have a bit of extra time, this is a beautiful place to stroll, snap a picture, or just luxuriate in the inspiring ambiance of Amsterdam.

Why Eye Film Museum Should Be on Your Must-See List

Amsterdam is one of Europe’s most artistic cities, rich in important cultural attractions, historic sites, and prestigious museums, but if you’ve had your fill of institutions catering to artists from many centuries past—or if that’s not really your cup of tea in the first place—consider adding Eye Film Museum to your itinerary. Whether watching a film, learning about the history of cinema, or simply enjoying a meal in a beautiful setting, it’s a great place to spend a thought-provoking afternoon.