Newsreels

The first thing most Dutch people think of when they hear the word newsreel is the Polygoons Nederlands Nieuws, a series of newsreels that were screened weekly in Dutch cinemas, from the early 1920s until 1987. Most of these newsreels are now archived at the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, but some Polygoon newsreels and commissioned films can be also found in the Eye collection.

Still from newsreel: Spiegel van Nederland (Unknown, 1958)
Still from newsreel: Spiegel van Nederland (Unknown, 1958)

Polygoon was not the only producer of newsreels, nor was it the first. As far back as the 1910s, you could already see the news in the cinemas: short clips of current events were then made by Alberts Frères and the Dutch division of Pathé Frères.

Still from newsreel: Tour de France (Wiebe Mullens, 1953)
Still from newsreel: Tour de France (Wiebe Mullens, 1953)
Still from newsreel: Orion Revue (Unknown, 1931)
Still from newsreel: Orion Revue (Unknown, 1931)

In the mid-1920s, companies such as Orion, Profilti, and Filmfabriek Holland started producing their own newsreels on a regular basis. Starting in the mid-1930s, these newsreels were also shown in special theatres, called Cineacs, which played newsreels nonstop.

During the Second World War, the two main newsreel producers, Polygoon and Profilti, were forced by the German occupiers to work together. This collaboration was continued after the war in the form of Polygoon-Profilti-Producties. For decades, the newsreels that they produced formed a regular feature in the supporting programs of Dutch cinemas. By this point, Polygon-Profilti no longer had any competition, except for Spiegel van Nederland, produced by Haghe Film and Trio Films, which could be seen in cinemas from 1958-1960.

News reels in our database

The complete series of Spiegel van Nederland is now housed in the archives of Eye, in addition to a wide variety of news programmes made by all of the other major and minor newsreel producers. You can watch more than a hundred newsreels directly online in our database.

Watch online