A new park will be built in Rotterdam West on the water. The green area will be called Tuschinski Park, named after the famous film entrepreneur Abraham Tuschinsky.
The new Toschinsky Park has an area of 12,000 square meters and will be located in Culhaven, near the new small residential area C, which is the link between Heemraadsingel, Museum Park and Het Park. In addition to the park, there is also a street named after Tuschinski and two other Jewish moviegoers: Karl Weisbard and Samuel Soesman.
Who was it and why did Rotterdam park get its name? Tushinsky, isn’t that the Prince of Amsterdam? Many people think so, but wrongly. Abraham Tushinsky was born in 1886 in what is now Poland. In 1904, on his way to the United States, he ended up in Rotterdam. At first he worked as a tailor, and later started the Polski Hotel, a boarding house for immigrants.
In 1911 he opened his first cinema: Thalia, in a dilapidated building in the center. Tuschinski responded well to the latest trend: the “long” feature film. Until then, ten films of no longer than ten minutes were usually shown. The audience wanted “featured” films (about half an hour) but moviegoers were hesitant, because the rent was much higher. Tuschinski dared this and Thalia achieved success.
According to Rotterdamsch Nieuwsblad at the time, the cinema gave a “fantastic impression” with seating that was “very easily and effectively furnished”. The program was “a rich variety of comic and dramatic performances, which alternately make the spectator burst with laughter and cry.” In 1912, the cinema building was demolished to make way for the (present) New Rotterdam City Hall. Thalia moved to Hoogstraat, and Tuschinski took over more cinemas: Scala on Hoogstraat, Olympia on Binnenweg and Cinéma Royal on Coolsingel.
In 1923 Tushinsky converted the Bomenburg Theater into the Grand Theatre. A “cinema palace” with a luxurious appearance and Art Deco design similar to that of the Tuschinski Theater in Amsterdam, a cinema it opened in 1921. But where the last theater still exists, all Tuschinski cinemas in Rotterdam were lost to the bombing. Tuschinski himself was deported via Westerbork to Auschwitz in 1942, where he was killed the same year.
Photo: Artist’s impression of Juurlink and Geluk
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