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 open air cinemas in their city, starting with the A from Athens!
Open-Air Cinema at Thisseion – Athens
Right under the Acropolis, 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!
Szimpla Kert – Budapest
Kálmán Faragó starts his review of Szimpla Kert off with the words, “hands-down the best known and most popular of Budapest’s “kert”-s”. What makes it stand out from the crowd? That would be their open air movie theater.
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, 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.
Rathaus Altona – Hamburg
What do you expect to find at 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 cosy 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
Westpark – Munich
The Westpark, which is about 5 mins away from the city center is a park more frequented by the locals living around it than tourists. While the parks boasts a beautiful rose garden as well a Japanese and Chinese garden, for the summer you should visit it for the Lake stage’s Open Air Cinema.
Socrates Sculpture Park – New York
If you’re lucky you can enjoy a great outdoor foreign film screening at this cultural park in New York! Not only does Socrates Sculpture Park sometimes screen great non-commercial films in this park, the whole place is an outdoor art studio! The place also hosts farmers markets, kayaking and folk dance performances. Even if they’re not screening a movie when you’re visiting New York, you’ll find something interesting happening at this park.
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 paddle boat. 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!
Kino Unter den Sternen (cinema under the stars) in Karlzplatz, Vienna is only one of the many outdoor cinema festivals in Vienna that our Spotter Julia Heiligenbrunner shares on Spotted by Locals Vienna. Linda Nepicks’ recommendation for this summer is the Volxkino, it has different locations throughout the city and although most are Austrian movies, the settings and atmosphere more than makes up for perhaps not understanding the film (and it’s free too). With these recommendations you’ll be covered during the entire summer, from early June till September.
Plac Zabaw – Warsaw
Plac Zabaw is an amazing open air venue in Warsaw, right next to the river. The place hosts all types of cultural events. Think of food fairs, comedy performances, concerts and of course open air cinema! Every Tuesday they show a film here. Their selection is great and quite original as they show lots of non-mainstream films. Let yourself be surprised, and don’t worry the movies are often in English or with English subtitles!
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.
The list is ever growing though, what is your favorite open air cinema? Please share in the comments!