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Rome Entertainment: Movies, music, and theater on a budget

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The Teatro Metropolitan. Photos by Claire Chaffey.
The Teatro Metropolitan. Photos by Claire Chaffey.

Undeniably, Rome is a remarkable city with a thousand things to see and do. It’s not difficult to spend an entire day pounding the cobblestones taking in all that there is to experience. So when night falls, it’s often nice to just chill out and let yourself be entertained.

Here are some of the best (and cheapest) ways to do just that!

Cinema

Unless you’re lucky enough to speak the local lingua, chances are you’ll be looking for a movie house that shows films in English. While there are quite a few scattered around the city, these two are the most accessible:

Metropolitan Cinema
Via del Corso, 7 (Just off Piazza del Poppolo, Metro Flaminio)

The Metropolitan (pictured, above) is a friendly, old-school little cinema that has not entirely succumbed to the Italian penchant for dubbing absolutely everything that is not a product of Italy. It shows at least two English language films at any given time, and if you go on a weekday afternoon, or Wednesdays at anytime, you’ll only pay €5.50. Otherwise, tickets are €7.50.

Warner Village Metro Cinema
Piazza della Repubblica, 44 (Metro Repubblica)

Live music and drinks at the Scholar's Lounge.

Live music and drinks at the Scholar’s Lounge.

You can’t miss this large, swanky cinema, which is the place to come if you want to see a blockbuster. However, it usually only shows one English language film at a time, so your options will be limited. Tickets are €7.50 (€5.50 for students).

Check out this useful website for programs and session times for both cinemas.

Tip: If you can speak Italian, take advantage of free films aired at “Casa del Cinema” at Villa Borghese. The films are mostly documentaries or old, obscure Italian films. For details, check out the website.

Live Music

There are plenty of pubs and bars in Rome which offer a huge variety of live music, but this is our favorite for both music and atmosphere:

Scholars Lounge Irish Pub
Via del Plebiscito, 101b (near Piazza Venezia)

The cosy and charming Scholars Lounge is host to live music almost every night from 10:30 PM. If it’s not a cover band doing the Chilli Peppers, Springsteen, or Oasis, it’s traditional Irish music, Reggae or karaoke (come on, you know you love it!). For the cost of whatever you want to drink, you can kick back with a congenial mix of locals and travelers and enjoy the vibe.

Last-minute theater tickets.

Last-minute theater tickets.

For a list of what’s on, check out the pub’s live music schedule.

Theater

Rome has an extremely vibrant dramatic scene with scores of theaters scattered all over town. It is generally not cheap to see a performance, but it is well worth the experience, especially when there are half-price tickets available at Last Minute Teatro, situated at Via Bari, 18 (Metro Policlinico). It sells unsold tickets for performances showing that night, and if you are not too fussy about what you see, there are huge savings to be made! Open Tuesday to Saturday: 2 PM-8 PM, and Sunday: 12 PM-4 PM.

About the author

About the author: Claire is a freelance journalist currently eating and drinking her way through Rome following a stint as a reporter in West Africa. Claire’s work has appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, TNT Magazine, Way2Go Magazine and the Ghanaian Times.

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