Tucked away in an unassuming basement on Balassi Bálint street, Cirkó Gejzír cinema comes equipped with three tiny rooms, a tea and water dispenser (chewing on nachos and cracking plastic bags open is somewhat discouraged) and the echo of tram number 2 occasionally rumbling through your film. In exchange for accepting this frugal lifestyle, the cinema, and its associated film distribution network, Cirkó Film, have taken it upon themselves to help the city’s film lovers gain access to lesser known gems which would otherwise not make it to the screens in more mainstream theaters.
Occasionally, independent American films make the cut as well, but otherwise the focus is on small to medium budget international projects, so those who do not read Hungarian may miss out on some of the films spoken in exotic languages. This is compensated for by the fact that Hungarian movies often come with English subtitles- most recently, the much-loved Bad Poems (possibly my favourite Hungarian film ever), which you can still catch every now and then and is a perfect introduction to Budapest through the eyes of its millennial generation.
In case you’ve identified your perfect film, be aware that Mondays and Tuesdays are discount days (tickets cost 1100 forints) which means that some films, especially newer releases, will be sold out pretty quickly, so buying ahead is advised. Those who live in Budapest may also consider a yearly ticket, which, for 29000 forints, gives you access to an unlimited number of films (perfect for binge re-watchers).