De Balie on the Leidseplein is a center for debates on politics and culture, a theatre and also a café and restaurant. De Balie regularly hosts cultural and artistic events and festivals. De Balie has three theater halls at its disposal for these purposes.
De Balie also houses a cinema with daily regular shows and frequent special events organised around film or documentary screenings.
De Balie cooperates with a large diversity of governmental and non governmental organisations to realise its programs. De Balie has also played a major role in the organisation in several national and international cinematic and journalism festivals, such as IDFA and Cinekid.
The building currently housing De Balie on the Leidseplein had been in use as local courthouse in the nineteenth century. After a lengthy period of disuse it was gradually transformed to its current function in the 1980's.