Berlin films at Berlin cinemas

Despite their ever-decreasing numbers, Berlin still offers over 80 independent cinemas, the majority of which have managed to preserve their plush interiors from the 50s and 60s. Superb examples are the glamorous Delphi Filmpalast on Kantstraße in Charlottenburg, the beautiful Neues Off near Hermannplatz in Neukölln, and Dahlem’s own, the sophisticated Capitol, where you can have a glass of wine or a cup of coffee to go with your show. The Neues Off and Capitol, and indeed many others of their kind, show films in the original version with (German) subtitles, so you can enjoy the film and admire the craft of your subtitling colleagues.

Lichtblick Kino in Prenzlauer Berg used to be a butcher’s shop  and is now a hole-in-the-wall cinema showing Wenders’ Der Himmel über Berlin – and other world classics with subtitles, such as À bout de souffle, Casablanca and Fassbinder’s Angst essen Seele auf – at least once a month. Check out their times here.

In Berlin, showing films in their original version has become almost standard outside of the big multiplexes. This site helps you look for OV movies in Berlin.

A number of the indie cinemas have joined forces to publish a handy online guide to their weekly programmes. It gives you the where and the when, as well as trailers and synopses. The site is available in English and allows you to sort films by language and genre.

Weather permitting, one of the most delightful ways to enjoy a film and the city is to go to one of the many open-air cinemas, most of which are located in large parks around Berlin. They have plenty of original versions to choose from, serve popcorn and beer to keep you fed and watered, and supply blankets and seat cushions to make sure you’re sitting pretty. Times and locations can be found on their websites:

For an extra-special treat, these two outstanding film theatres are well worth a visit: Arsenal, run by the Museum for Film and Television, and the Zeughauskino, run by the Deutsches Historisches Museum. Nowhere in Berlin will you get to see a more ambitious programme, chock-full of hidden gems, rarities, black-and-white classics, silent films accompanied by a live piano, and every other film produced between here and China. If there is only one print to be found of some 1929 Armenian masterpiece that only a handful of people have heard of, you can rest assured that it’ll turn up on either of these two screens before long. My two favourite picture houses!

Text & photos: Katja Bechmann,

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