Volcanic eruptions and Northern lights are symbolic for Iceland – and you can enjoy both in 25 minutes at THE CINEMA, Old harbur, down town Reykjavík.
The films shown at the Cinema are all made by a re-known Icelandic film maker, Valdimar Leifsson, and The Cinema is run by him and his family. And the setup is also a bit like coming into a family home; while watching the films on a big screen you can choose to sit in a sofa or cozy chairs and enjoy coffee, hot chocolate or other refreshments by candle light.
Valdimar (everyone goes by their first name in Iceland) studied film making in Los Angeles, California and has been working in his field ever since he returned back to Iceland. Mostly making documentaries and educational TV shows, shown on the State TV of Iceland. When the opportunity rose in 2010 to open a small cinema at the Old harbor Reykjavík he saw a great niche to slow down a bit in travelling all through the country filming (which he has not done yet) and offer visitors Icelandic nature through his films
It took a lot of time and effort to make the old fishermen´s dwelling and working place at the Old Reykjavík harbor into the cozy cinema it is today. It was decided to let the old place keep its charm and original look as much as possible, when transforming it into a cinema. Visitors often comment on the good vibes they feel while they enjoy the shows.
In 2010 the great volcano Eyjafjallajökull erupted and Valdimar was the first to be ready with a film about the eruption – which of course is shown at The Cinema. It is a short film, intended for the visitors to experience the power and the beauty of nature when it decides to spews its inners up into the air. Also the threat and even danger volcanic eruption can cause. When asked, viewers said they wanted to know more about volcanic activity in Iceland, therefore it was decided to make the film Birth of an island – the making of Iceland. It shows and explains why Iceland is one of the most volcanically active region on Earth, expecting an eruption every 3rd to 4th year (the last one was 2014-2015).
Then people from all over the world started to flock to Iceland over the winter months; why was that? Well, the Northern lights are often high in the sky above Iceland so Iceland is one of the best places to see them – providing all conditions are right. What are the right conditions for seeing them? This is all explained in Valdimar´s film Chasing the Northern lights – which could be your only chance of seeing the elusive lights if you are in Iceland during the summer months; also sometimes in winter, if the conditions were not right.
The films are shown daily at 5, 5:30 and 6 pm but if you are at the Old harbor at other times and the door to The Cinema is open, you are invited to come up to the loft of the old fisherman´s dwelling and most often it is possible to put on a special show for you. And there are more films to choose from, also as a small exhibition of interesting Icelandic rocks on display.
Valdimar and his family have extensive knowledge of places and things to do in Iceland and have often given their visitors good advice for their travels, as can be read in the reviews about The Cinema.