Open air cinemas in Berlin. An outdoor movie place for watching new and old films in the summer

Cinemas in Berlin

Movie theatres and cinemas have been an intrinsic part of Berlin culture since the beginning of the 20th century. It is essential that non-German speakers realise that they don’t have to discard their passion for film whilst in Berlin. Cinemas here show movies from Greta Gerwig’s Barbie or Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me by Your Name in OmU (Original language with subtitles), to German classics such as Fritz Lang’s Metropolis and Tom Tykwer’s Lola Rennt.

In Schöneberg, the independent Odeon cinema is a must-visit for any film-lover. Built in 1950 and opened in 1951, the cinema has a vintage-feel with one screen, and 359 seats. It holds the title of being the first cinema to have shown films in their original language back in 1958. The Odeon with its vividly-green, american-style neon lettering feels as though it remains stuck in the past as it’s contrasted with the modern buildings and shops that now surround it. However, something that appeals most about the independent cinema is the people; whether it is the cinema’s employees, or the ticket-buyers, everyone has a passion for film. After the screening, many gather outside the cinema to discuss what they have watched, holding the remainder of their popcorn and drinks. An evening at the Odeon is a guaranteed well-spent time, and the cinema itself will remain an iconic symbol of cinema culture in Berlin for years to come. 

The Freiluftkino in Kreuzberg is another way of spending a relaxing summer evening watching films – but here they’re outdoors. It is worth noting that the team plan on running the evening-movie whatever the weather. Upon arrival, you are greeted by the employees, and can buy popcorn or drinks at the stand. Behind, there are stacks of deck chairs to collect and take to your ideal spot for movie-watching. For a better chance at finding a comfortable space to watch your film, early arrival is recommended. The Freiluftkino continues to show Berlin’s appreciation for film and shows films in OmU. The screen is set up in the courtyard of the Kunstquartier Bethanien which makes the watching experience incredibly atmospheric. The open-air cinema makes for a perfect summer-evening family activity and is enjoyed by many annually. 

Ultimately, the culture surrounding cinema in Berlin is one to soak up when visiting the city. From vintage or modern cinemas and outdoor screens, Berlin has it all.


Article and cover image – Scout Johnstone @scoutfjohnstone

Kinos in Berlin was part of our August 2023 magazine Define Berlin – if you dare

Front cover of Define Berlin, our August 2023 magazine


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