With recent warm weather giving us balmy evenings, it’s the high point of open-air cinema season here in Berlin. What’s more – with Covid-19 compromising other nighttime cultural pursuits – various new pop-up kinos have opened to supplement the city’s well-established spots and satiate demand for safe, al-fresco after-dark activities. Planning a trip to the movies? Need some inspiration? Here’s a short, sharp list of some of our favourite Freiluftkinos in Berlin right now…
In a nutshell: Simple amphitheatre with plenty of surrounding flora and a clandestine vibe – screening critically acclaimed movies, indie and arthouse flicks and the odd trash film for irony’s sake.
Where: Volkspark Hasenheide
Capacity: Usually 1000 seats | Currently 500 seats
In a nutshell: A deckchair bedecked lawn in the heart of the Kunstquartier (‘Art’s Quarter) Bethanien – this one’s the chill baby brother/sister of the bigger Berlin open-air cinemas. Varied program, with films in English and German.
Where: Mariannenplatz 2, 10997, Berlin
Capacity: Usually 600 seats | Currently 500 seats
In a nutshell: The one Freiluftkino to rule them all. Overlooked by a hill burying a former WWII flak tower, this one has monster capacity – 1800 spaces (limited to 500 currently because of Covid) on benches and seats with space for blankets on the grass too.
Where: Volkspark Friedrichshain
Capacity: Usually 1800 seats | Currently 500 seats
Pompeji – Freiluftkino am Ostkreuz
In a nutshell: Charming, alternative small-scale cinema nestled in a postindustrial courtyard at Ostkreuz. Beer garden attached.
Where: Laskerstraße 5, 10245, Berlin
Seating: 99 seats
In a nutshell: Pop-up courtyard cinema showing films, fiction and nonfiction, about the East German Ministry of State Security (STASI) – each film followed by a discussion with contemporary witnesses, the filmmakers and experts.
Where: Ruschestraße 103, 10365, Berlin
In a nutshell: Backlit by the bright lights of Potsdamer Platz’s skyscraper skyline, this one has a slicker, more contemporary urban feel than the other spots on this list. Programmed by Yorck Kinos.
Where: Matthäikirchplatz 4, 10785, Berlin
Seating: Usually 1000 seats | Currently 500 seats
Astor Film Lounge on Alice Rooftop
In a nutshell: Fancy-schmancy bespoke rooftop cinema with lots of leather furniture. Showing lauded contemporary features and bonafide classics, and serving gin and tonics.
Where: Kantstraße 17, 10623, Berlin
Seating: 50 seats
Price: From €39.90 (entry includes a Flammküchen, popcorn, and a ‘summer drink’)
In a nutshell: Pop-up drive-in cinema with a terribly punned name showing big-budget, family-friendly Hollywood flicks. Quality of the Kino depends on the quality of your car.
Where: Parkplatz P 05 at the Olympiastadion | Olympischer Platz 3, 14053, Berlin
Seating: Max. 5 people per vehicle
Price: from €25
Header photograph: Freiluftkino Pompeji, © W. Gladow