HistoryAn enjoyable experience since 1964
Amsterdam – In the past the main function of REM Eiland was creating pleasure. As a broadcasting platform its main purpose was to entertain millions of viewers with the first commercial TV-programs. It was sensational, a rebellion group of pirates broadcasting from sea! TV Noordzee (TV Northsea when translated).
Nowadays REM Eiland still serves its original purpose but not as a broadcast platform. It has been transformed into a modern, industrial restaurant. The original elements are still visible and a breath-taking view was add by locating it at the Houthavens of Amsterdam. Dining at REM Eiland has brought a whole new experience. You are not just enjoying a nice meal, but you are dining on a piece of Dutch national history!
The beginning of REM Eiland
In the early ‘60s watching tv was a slight bit different than today. Most of the times there was only one single TV available in the whole neighbourhood. This meant everyone would gather together to watch their favorite programs. The youngest on the ground with pillows and blankets followed by the grown-ups squeezed into the couch. On top of that, there was only one TV-channel available, witch would only air a few shows a day. Imagine that for TV today!
REM Eiland was supposed make a difference. Pieter Schelte Heereman and shipbuilder Cornelis Verolme came up the idea of an artificial island in the North Sea. A platform to broadcast new and exciting shows. To fund the project shares were sold. Pretty soon there were long queues; everyone wanted to invest in REM Eiland. Within no time 350.000 shares were sold. On August 15, 1964 TV Noordzee went live! With American hit-series as Zorro, Mr. Ed, The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, TV Noordzee soon became very popular.
TV Noordzee, one of a kind
TV Noordzee was the first commercial TV-broadcaster that created a whole new form of entertainment in the Netherlands. It was a unique experience for the viewer and ofcourse everyone wanted to receive this channel. Father would be sent to the roof to install a self-made antenna, hoping to receive the broadcast. While Mother prepared some tasty snacks in the kitchen. The kids would jump all over the place with excitment and joy. Also commercials made their first appearance. And that advertising came with a price. A single spot for one minute would soon cost between 6000 – 8000 guilders (+/- 3500 euro) a huge amount of money for that time.
REM Eiland before it was brought into the Houthavens in Amsterdam
The end of REM Eiland
Even though TV Noordzee was incredibly popular, the broadcast station didn’t last long. The Dutch goverment was strongly against commercial television and adopted the anti-REM law. Which made any broadcast activities from sea illegal. The Netherlands were not yet ready for this new form of entertainment according to the goverment and therefore there had to come to an end. On December 17, 1964 at exactly 9AM REM Eiland the goverment made a move. With a raid by helicopter and policemen TV Noordzee was put to an end.
From broadcast platform to restaurant
Because REM Eiland is such an important piece of history for the Dutch, the end of TV Noordzee shouldn’t be the end for REM Eiland as well. Nick van Loon and Hilly Engels decided to give REM Eiland its amazing purpose back. The island was brought to the shore and placed in the Houthavens of Amsterdam. The building was fully renovated, but kept its original elements. It was turned into a nice, modern restaurant.
The moment you set foot inside REM Eiland you step into its history. You can dine on top of the old helicopter platform or have a drink in the old broadcast bar. Some of the old broadcast equipment has been saved and you are all invited to come and dine at our beautiful REM Eiland. Our staff is waiting to give you a warm welcome.