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Hidden Gem for Events in Historic Amsterdam

This post is also available in: Nederlands (Dutch)

In the heart of the Amsterdam city centre lies a hidden gem for conferences and events: the Compagnietheater. Behind the imposing classicist façade, along one of the most beautiful canals of the city centre, is a versatile venue with special spaces and an atmosphere you wouldn’t expect. Cool, modern and sleek, but most of all warm and welcome.

The Compagnietheater is situated along the Kloveniesburgwal, one of the oldest canals of Amsterdam. The property owes its imposing façade to a special history. The church that was established here in the end of the 18th century was not allowed to be recognized as such. That explains the surprise you experience as soon as you step inside this venue.

Image: Janneke Aronson

Café and Zuilenzaal

Because the Compagnietheater is not a standard canal building. Upon entering, the space immediately stands out: high ceilings, large windows and plenty of light. The interior is sturdy, with a robust concrete floor, yet at the same time it feels warm due to the original elements of the old church. Particularly the high wooden pillars catch the eye. It gives the venue a surprising mix of atmospheres, somewhere in between industrial and church.

The entrance of the Compagnietheater is in the Café – a high, open space with a large bar. It’s a very nice space for a reception, but its character makes it equally suitable for other kinds of meetings. Think of casual drinks or a walking dinner. The L-shaped space stretches across the frontside of the building, allowing the large windows to bring in lots of light. This side of the space can be closed off entirely from the Café by means of a sliding wall. In doing so, the Zuilenzaal (Pillar Room) is created, which can serve as a plenary space for a lecture or presentation, but an intimate dinner works well here too.

The Kleine Zaal (Small Hall) can be found on the ground floor too, bordering on the spaces described above. This is the space where small theatre productions and presentations take place. The Kleine Zaal is small: a square space with a stand with seats for 70 people. But thanks to the high ceiling and the retractable grandstand, it’s a multifunctional space suitable for anything form a meeting to a party.

When we take a look behind the scenes, we arrive in a spacious kitchen. The kitchen is ready for use, with all the required facilities present. Even in this space daylight comes in – convenient for the caterer!

Foyer and Grote Zaal

We’re going up the stairs to the first floor, where we end up in the Foyer. This space is a kind of mezzanine in the Café, which is evident from the red wall that runs through the staircase and the wooden pillars that rise through the floor and up to the ceiling. With the warm red wall, the light concrete floor and wooden pillars, the space has an atmosphere that is similar to the ground floor. However, because there are windows on two sides, the space is much lighter. With the large windows overlooking the canal and the high wooden pillars, this is a beautiful backdrop for dinners, receptions or information stands during a fair.

The Foyer provides access to what used to be the church hall and is now the Grote Zaal (Big Hall). The history of the Grote Zaal is clearly recognizable by the shape of the ceiling, which rises in round shapes, and the wooden columns. These authentic elements blend in seamlessly in an otherwise modern space. The theatre lamps hanging from large beams provide this space, too, with an industrial atmosphere.

The striking thing about the Grote Zaal is how light it is: an abundance of daylight comes in through the large skylight and the windows on the side. As a result, this space is, in addition to conferences and lectures, very suitable for receptions and fancy dinner parties. The grandstand is retractable here as well, creating a beautiful, large level floor. By means of screens and curtains, the space can be darkened, which is convenient for presentations and theatre productions.

A nice bonus is the fact that the dressing rooms that border on the balcony at the top of the Grote Zaal. How original is a brainstorm session in the typical theatre dressing room atmosphere, between the characteristic mirrors?

Image: Bart Grietens

The Compagnietheater and Amerpodia

As a part of Amerpodia, a collaboration between some typical cultural Amsterdam venues such as the Rode Hoed, Felix Meritis and De Nieuwe Liefde, you benefit from a lot of expertise with corporate events and cultural programming. As an incidental circumstance, the revenue gained from business events directly contribute to the cultural ambitions and activities of Amerpodia.

The Compagnietheater offers a special combination of a cool venue in an authentic monumental property. The location right in the heart of historic and touristic Amsterdam does not come at the expense of the space of the venue: there’s enough room to organize conferences for up to 500 people. The warm ambiance of the theatre and the unique interior make the Compagnietheater a venue with character.

This post is also available in: Nederlands (Dutch)

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