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Movie house opens on a building site.

The cinema-goers weave their way past churning cement-mixers to get to the Cinedom, the new multiplex in Cologne's Mediapark.

The big new multiplex is the only building so far finished in the Cologne Mediapark when it opens its doors on 20 December 1991. The Cinedom is one of the most dazzling cinemas in Germany: under its roof the stars sparkle every evening anew.

But the rest isn't finished yet: for months movie-goers have to fight their way through a muddy construction site.

The Cinedom, with its 14 movie theatres, 4,600 seats and sundry bars, restaurants and little shops, is part of the Mediapark complex built in central Cologne at the site of a former freight depot. The new 200,000-square metre media district is supposed to attract media businesses to the city.

It does, to a certain extent, but only after a lull in the mid-1990s. After over 15 years of construction, all told, media people do start to move in. The TV broadcasters bulletVIVA and VIVA Plus soon locate in Mediapark, as do the radio stations Eins Live and Radio Cologne, the Cologne Media Academy of the Bertelsmann Foundation, EMI and the music label Rough Trade, along with a number of small media companies and service providers. Another cinema, the Cologne Filmhaus, also sets up shop here.

But later the first media companies begin to leave again. In January 2002 Viva, one of the major tenants, announces plans to move to the Cologne district of Mülheim.

Wolfgang Hippe

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