This Copenhagen icon may be torn down

The Local Denmark
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This Copenhagen icon may be torn down
The Palads building has housed a cineplex since 1918 and has had its pastel facade since 1989. Photo: Torben Christensen/Scanpix

The multi-coloured Palads movie theatre in central Copenhagen may be torn down to make way for new high-rise buildings.


Home to Denmark’s largest film complex since 1918, Palads is best known for its pastel facade painted by Danish artist Poul Gernes in 1989. 
But the iconic building next to Vesterport Station would be torn down under a plan being considered by the City of Copenhagen. The city’s environmental and technical affairs committee will weigh in on the proposal on Monday. 
The development is backed by rail operator DSB and an unknown investor. Under the plan, the subterranean train tracks at Vesterport would be covered and topped by 81,000 sqm of new development, including hotel and conference space, new homes, a new movie theatre and a supermarket. 
The proposed development. Illustration: Werk Architects
The proposed development. Illustration: Werk Architects
Nordisk Film Biografer, which owns Palads, has backed the plan but many cultural experts have said that it would be a mistake to tear down the iconic theatre. 
“It would be a complete tragedy to tear it down. It is a monument with huge cultural and artistic value and there is nothing else of the same format in our urban space,” Louisiana museum curator Anders Kold told Politiken.
A group of local residents calling themselves Tivolis Venner (Tivoli’s Friends, referring to the nearby historic amusement park) are also against the plan. 
“I just get so sad. Why do we need to look like all other big cities? In just a few years Copenhagen has been characterized by a development toward even larger constructions. This plan is misplaced, too much and too stereotypical,” spokesman Peter Holst Eriksen told Politiken. 


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