“Inglorious Basterds,” “The Bourne Supremacy” and “A Good German” are just a few of the films that have been enhanced by the city’s historic and high-tech architecture. Berlin also boasts a cutting-edge film studio, Studio Babelsberg, which produces mega-budget action flicks. What’s up next? “Unknown White Male” with Liam Neeson, January Jones and Diane Kruger.
It only makes sense, then, that Berlin is well-stocked with a wide range of movie theaters. A host of quirky cinemas studding the city play anything but mainstream fare. In fact, you’re more likely to catch an offbeat, English-language independent film in Berlin than in many major cities in the U.S.
Ticket prices and Kinotage
Film-going in Berlin is decidedly Cheapo-friendly. Prices are relatively low—most films don’t cost more than €7. They’re even cheaper on Kinotage (“Movie Day”), when tickets are reduced by about €1.50. Kinotage varies by theater, but it’s usually on Tuesday. Be sure to avoid movies longer than two hours and ten minutes—they can cost up to €1 more.
Here are four great cinema options for movie-goers in Berlin:
Rosa Luxemburg Str. 30
With its old-fashioned neon marquee, Babylon Berlin is the best of the Yorck Kinogruppe’s art theaters. Its film buff-approved lineup almost always includes English-language films or foreign films with English subtitles, making it a favorite among Berlin’s expats. The theater also hosts occasional film festivals and book talks. After catching a showing, discuss the film over a beer at a nearby Hackescher Markt bar.
Hackesche Höfe Kino
Rosenthaler Str. 40/41
S-bahn: Hackescher Markt
Admission: €8 (€6.50 on Monday and Tuesday)
Also in Mitte, the Hackesche Höfe Kino is a downsized “multiplex” in one of the neighborhood’s historic courtyards. Movies—from the U.S., Europe and beyond—tend to be critically acclaimed and independent. Documentaries are also well represented.
Potsdamer Str. 4
S-/U-bahn: Potsdamer Platz
Admission: €7; loge seats: €8
Potsdamer Platz is another major place to catch a movie. The futuristic Sony Center is home to two theaters that offer vastly different options. The subterranean CineStar Berlin-Original is an American-style multiplex that plays Hollywood blockbusters in their original versions.
Potsdamer Str. 2
S-/U-bahn: Potsdamer Platz
Adjoining the Filmmuseum Berlin, the Arsenal provides an indie alternative to Cinestar. Also housed in the Sony Center, it runs film series that focus on a specific director—usually a classic like John Ford or Ingmar Bergman.
Note: No matter which theater you choose, be warned that movie theater popcorn in Berlin is sweet.