The Edison Cinema fell into disrepair and will be restored to its former glory, Source: Miroslav Vajdic on flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

Karlovac will host first Croatian VR cinema

Karlovac will host first Croatian VR cinema

The city will renovate the old local Edison Cinema, which was built in 1920 and closed in 2007

Last week, authorities in the Croatian city of Karlovac announced a reconstruction project for the city’s currently abandoned Edison Cinema. The city plans to restore the 1920s building to its former glory and make it Croatia’s first VR cinema, embracing the evolution in visual language and technology.

With the renovation and innovation plans, city officials also plan to make pay respects to the spirit with which the cinema was originally created – supporting local film pioneers. At the same time, it was the largest cinema operating in the region for close to 100 years until it closed in 2007.

Embracing the new

According to city officials, the new Edison Cinema will have two cinema halls, a large one and a small one. The large will have a collapsible auditorium and gallery with 200 seats.  The small one will have 70 seats, but each will be equipped with a VR headset.

The ground floor will feature a café with an open terrace, a popcorn stand a souvenir shop. The project also calls for an elevator to the attic, which should host a multifunctional co-working space, for people in the audiovisual arts.

European funding

The city of Karlovac officially acquired the cinema building in 2016, after the company that owned it went bankrupt. However, at the time the cost of renovation and modernising the building to modern standards would be too high for the local government.

Yet, Karlovac was able to find European funding for the project, set to cost around 3.4 million euros. The funding came through the European Fund for Regional Development within the Operational Program Competitiveness and Cohesion 2014-2020 and it is supposed to cover 85% of the project costs or around 2.9 million euros. The rest would be split evenly between the city and the Croatian Ministry for Regional Development.

At the same time, according to official statements, due to supply bottlenecks and building material price spikes, the renovation will be delayed. Yet, authorities say that the first screening will happen before the end of 2023.



Growing City


Smart City


Green City


Social City


New European Bauhaus




ECP 2021 Winner TheMayorEU