Bíó Paradís is Iceland’s first and only Art House Cinema. The name literally translates to Cinema Paradise and for Icelanders interested in independent films it certainly is Paradise.
In September 2010 Bíó Paradís rose like a cineplex-phoenix from the ashes of Regnboginn (The Rainbow), a cinema which in 1977 became Iceland’s first multi-screen movie theatre.
See also: The Story of Icelandic Cinema
Bíó Paradís is a part of Europa Cinemas, a network of movie theatres which focuses on European films non-native to the country, as well as cinematic education for children. Aside from that, Bíó Paradís also gives Icelandic filmmakers an opportunity to screen their short films and documentaries.
The Art House cinema, which operates as a non-profit organisation, has put effort into improving accessibility. They raised money through a crowdfunding site to make the building accessible to wheelchair users. They’ve also held screenings with video description for blind and visually impaired audiences.
Bíó Paradís offers a diverse program of events. Some past events include: Vegan Film Fest, a day-long non-stop Groundhog Day marathon, The Room Fan Fest, Indian, Filipino and German Film Days, Polish Film Days (popular among the growing Polish population of Iceland), African Cinema Weekend and Laxness Film Festival, to name a few.
See also: Prump í Paradís
There seems to be no end to the flood of exciting events in Bíó Paradís’s future. Some happenings to look forward to at the start of this year include:
Prump í Paradís (Fart in Paradise), the monthly instalments of excellent terrible films. Hosted by cartoonist and comedian Hugleikur Dagsson, the next bad movies on the menu are Weekend at Bernie’s, Road House and Lady Terminator.
German Film Days return for the 10th time. Seven German-language films will be screened with English subtitles in February 2019.
Fans of live theatre can treat themselves to a screening of a Shakespeare play filmed live at UK’s National Theatre. This February, National Theatre Live’s Anthony and Cleopatra starring Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo will be shown at Bíó Paradís.
Bíó Paradís’ popular events Svartir Sunnudagar (Black Sundays) are not to be missed. Every Sunday the cinema screens a cult classic. The next wave of cult film goodness include: Drugstore Cowboy, Ginger Snaps, and Reservoir Dogs.
Among the films currently screening are the international smash hit Roma, the dramedy western Damsel starring Robert Pattinson and Mia Wasikowska, and Japanese horror-comedy One Cut of the Dead.
Bíó Paradís is located in downtown Reykjavík and is a haven for film freaks. We recommend getting there early, grabbing a drink, playing a board-game and enjoying the cosy atmosphere in the lobby before your film.