With the arrival of Summer comes the arrival of open-air cinemas. That feeling of endless summer nights, balmy temperatures (hopefully), hanging out with friends, watching a classic with a drink in your hand, does it get any better?
Here’s a selection of our Spotters’ favorite local open-air cinemas in their city, starting with the A from Athens!
Spoiled for choice… in Athens
Athens might be the world capital of open air cinemas. Nobody knows for sure how many there are, but our locals reckon there are at least a 100 in the city, open every June to September. Do you know a city that has more? Let us know!
Vox Cinema is on a rooftop in one of the most happening areas in Athens (Exarcheia)! Imagine sitting sky high watching a movie with a bunch of other people while other people on the street are watering their plants and going about their daily evening. It’s one of the older outdoor cinemas, oozes atmosphere. And yes, they have excellent movies too!
Right under the Acropolis (with full Acropolis view that can detract you from watching the movie), the Thisseion cinema is the perfect place to relax under the starry sky after a day in Athens. A personal favorite of our Athens local Sofia Skioti, sometimes it plays movies almost as old as the cinema itself!
As if there aren’t enough open air cinemas in the city, there are many festivals too… The best, Athens Open Air Film Festival has its own very unique location for each movie. The best part? It’s totally free!
Insel der Jugend – Berlin
This open-air cinema can be found on an island. You can reach this island either by renting a canoe or by hiking across the bridge. Here’s what our Spotter had to say about its open-air cinema program: “My other favorite thing about the island is their open-air cinema program with Mobile Kino, Berlin’s traveling pop-up cinema. What could be better on a warm evening than watching a movie outside on a deck chair, surrounded by water and a clear sky, undisturbed by the buzzing city? ”
Modelier – Bucharest
Modelier has two bars, one inside and one outside. The place is not just a bar, it hosts multiple great events such as pop-up dinners! More importantly for this article, they have great outdoor cinema screenings in summer. The films are shown on their cozy terrace and are a great activity for hot summer nights.
Hafenkino – Frankfurt
This is what our Spotter Christian had to say about Hafenkino: ”From academy award winners to lesser-known alternative movies, the choice is yours! The setting is an urban industrial ruin in the background, free-range sheep on the right and an alternative bar/restaurant to the left. Hafenkino is one of my favorite places in summer — it’s less crowded and still mostly only known to locals.”
Spoutnik – Geneva
This cinema closes its main cinema in the summer and instead organizes open-air cinema’s. Spoutnik is known for showing films that are non-commercial and their main goal is to show movies that are not known by the wide public. Therefore, they often partner up with different film festivals. Seems like the perfect atmosphere to enjoy alternative movies.
Rathaus Altona – Hamburg
What do you expect to find in a city hall? Paperwork, impressive architecture, a wedding maybe? And yes, you probably wouldn’t be wrong. However, Rathaus Altona has a surprise to offer. Not only is the building geat to look at, in its neoclassicistic style, it also hosts cool events during July and August. During these months they screen cool art house films, don’t miss it!
Esplanada da Mata – Lisbon
“Centrally located, Esplanada da Mata remains a cozy and peaceful spot wrapped in the leafy embrace of the surrounding park. […] Have a snack, drink a hot chocolate or a beer and socialize. There’s DJ’s and during the summer an open-air cinema.”- Nuno Lopes de Paula
Kino, Mond & Sterne – Munich
This open-air cinema in Westpark shows blockbusters as well as classics. Even though Kino, Mond & Sterne is open from May till September, a lot of the visitors bring their own blankets to cozy up under the stars. We suggest you do the same!
Střelecký Ostrov – Prague
On the river Vltava in Prague, you can find twelve islands, one of them is in the center of the river: Střelecký Ostrov (Shooter’s island). You can reach it by crossing a bridge or renting a paddleboat. There is plenty to do here, you can get drinks and good or watch the swans and the boats. They have (free) cultural events almost daily, so you’ll never be bored here. One of the best activities here is the open-air cinema, make sure not to miss it!
Cine Alsos – Thessaloniki
This is what Spotter Irini had to say about the Cine Alsos: “This cinema is the definition of “off-the-beaten-track”, as it is “hidden” in a vast tree-filled park, on the upper side of the city, next to Eptapyrgion. Even on the hottest summer days, you will feel the breeze and the calmness only a mountainous scenery could provide. A cute little canteen adds up to the whole experience; you may buy refreshments, beers, etc and simply watch the film while sitting comfortably in your chair having your drink and enjoying a view of Mount Olympus and Katerini at the same time. Not too bad, huh?”
Vienna has a lot of open air film festivals too, and our local Julia has created an “under the stars cinemas” list in this article. One of her – and fellow Spotter Linda’s – favorites is Volxkino.
NInA – Warsaw
When the summer arrives, most public gardens in Warsaw turn into cinemas under the stars. You will find a spot for each taste and films from every part of the world. One of my favorite places to go is the Narodowy Instytut Audiowizualny (National Audiovisual Institute).
Open Air Cinema – Yerevan
During to be the hot and dry summers in Yerevan Open Air Cinema is a perfect summer nighttime activity. This open-air theatre can be found behind the Moscow Cinema and has been a controversial place even before the fall of the Soviet Union. The amphitheater has remained operational to this day and hosts multiple screenings during the annual Yerevan Golden Apricot International Film Festival.
Kino Tuskanac – Zagreb
And last but not least, we end with the Z from Zagreb. Kino Tuskanac can be found deep in the forest, which makes it extra fun. Also a little difficult to find maybe, but once you’re there, it’s definitely worth the walk through the woods.
More? We have local tips in 76 cities!