The Tilsiter Lichtspiele, founded in 1908, is the second oldest filmhouse in Berlin. Located on Richard-Sorge-Strasse (formerly Tilsiter Strasse), the cinema was started on the first floor of an old Berlin apartment building, complete with neighborhood bar.
Originally privately owned, the theater was forced to close down in 1961 given the fact that Kino Kosmos—the pride of the DDR—opened on Karl-Marx-Allee (then Stalin Allee) with 1001 seats. With only 66 seats, Tilsiter Lichtspiele could not compete.
Many years later a group of young artists and filmmakers dedicated themselves to reviving the space, using it not only as a screening room, but also as a studio, meeting place and art gallery. In 1994 the theater was officially reopened and now screens many films and holds film competitions and festivals.