On Overstad Alkmaar has within a short space of time (2016) acquired a concentration of a new cinema, a new film-house, a casino and a new stage for popular music. Preparations took a long time. It was especially the wait for a new pop music theatre that took so long, after the Parkhof in the Victoriepark and Victoria in the Wapen van Heemskerk. But the concentration of entertainment in one new place is typical of our modern time. The scale has followed the expansion of the town. What is on offer has too, together with our disposable income. In days gone by, one had to make do with smaller facilities. Naturally, fairs played a role. They always had traveling theatres. Netherlands’ prime pre-war comedian, Johan Buziau, celebrated major triumphs annually in one of those marquees on the Laat. Toon Hermans, Wim Kan, and Wim Zonneveld saw him as their big example. Besides, Alkmaarders had the Gulden Vlies, the Harmonie, Diligentia and later the Wapen van Heemskerk to choose from. The wonderful music pavilion in the Hout attracted large crowds in fair weather. Fierce competition among these theatres led to extensions and modernisations. The Gulden Vlies undergoes a considerable extension in 1924. The Harmony goes posh and has the young architect Jan Wils restyle its interior. In 1978 theatre De Vest is added. The theatre part of the Gulden Vlies loses out to the competition and has to close its doors in 1992. For amateur theatre groups in town these were difficult and expensive developments. Usually they found new venues in community centres like De Rekere. Shortly before the war The Harmonie had opted for a future as a cinema. In the end they were the only one left, first having shared the local market with Cinema, Rex and Alkmaars Bioscoop Theater. In 1971 the alternative filmhouse/theatre Provadya opened its doors on the Laat in an old warehouse. In 1981 it got improved accommodation on the Verdronkenoord in a former orphanage. Provadya’s heritage can be found back in the Filmhuis on Overstad. Outstanding events are the three open-air concerts on the Lindengracht next to the Gulden Vlies. A fairly recent tradition (since 2003), which all classical music afficionados hope will last a long, long time.