Abaton is Hamburg’s Granddaddy of all classic art-house cinemas, set right in the middle of the University on Grindelhof (Allendeplatz 3). Founded in 1970, it was one of the very first “Programmkinos” in Germany. Owners Werner Grassmann and Winfried Fedder pioneered that concept by programming films they thought were interesting, rather than hewing to the fossilized structures of commercial cinema.
Abaton has won many prizes for its program of music and cultural films, documentaries, and retrospectives of all kinds. There are frequent special guests; sometimes they’re big names from the international film community. But they’re just as likely to be kids from a local school, environmentalists, musicians, politicians, or anybody else who has something to say about a film.
Every night there’s at least one movie on one of their three screens in English.