Sometimes, going to the regular, indoor cinema during summer isn’t much fun. The sun’s out, the air is balmy and you’d much rather be at a lake. The solution for this problem? One of Berlin’s open-air cinemas — or Freiluftkino. Here you’ll catch the latest flicks and still enjoy that soft summer breeze in your face. Most organisers offer a programme of current art-house productions, classics, and award-winning festival films from the last few years. Enjoy your favourite films in a magical twilight setting or catch up on what you’ve missed throughout the year.
And there’s the right open-air cinema for everyone in Berlin: Freiluftkino Friedrichshain offers a cinematic picnic in cosy park settings. Pompeji (right next to Ostkreuz) boasts an alternative edge, or there’s the inner courtyard of Kunstquartier Bethanien or — almost an insider tip — the big screen in the woods of Volkspark Rehberge. Here we’ll introduce you to the city’s most beautiful open-air cinemas, tell you which have reopened after the corona crisis, and provide you with all the info you need.
Pompeji – Freiluftkino by Ostkreuz
Is this really Berlin? The open-air venue right next to the cinema Zukunft at Ostkreuz can feel quite mediterranean on a warm night, when the stars twinkle — a fusion of cinema, event venue, theatre hall and beer garden. During the open-air season, sophisticated films are shown in their original version with German subtitles. And the beer garden is also open again.
- Pompeji – Freiluftkino am Ostkreuz Laskerstr. 5, Friedrichshain, 99 seats / €6.50 / Extra length surcharge: €1 – €1.50 / Folding chairs / Screenings delayed in bad weather / Awning in the back area provides rain shelter / Relocation to the auditorium for special events / Bar / OmU, sometimes DF with English UT
Freiluftkino Insel at Cassiopeia
The atmosphere at Freiluftkino Insel in the courtyard of Cassiopeia is more intimate than that of the larger open-air cinemas. Film screenings take place on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. This year, regular guests will have to do without the free blankets, but the makers are working on specials that can be realised even in times of crisis.
- Freiluftkino Insel im Cassiopeia Revaler Str. 99, Friedrichshain, from 6th June 2020, normally 500 seats, until 15th June 2020, 200 seats / €8.50 / Deckchairs, wooden benches and garden chairs / Jamaican street food and German BBQ / OmU or OmeU
Right in the middle of Volkspark Friedrichshain, this very popular outdoor cinema is hidden away. Take a blanket with you and maybe a bottle of wine or two for a relaxed picnic with a good film playing in the background. Most films will be shown in German, but there are plenty of screenings in English with German subtitles and even a few German films with English subtitles. There’s also an induction loop for the hearing impaired. In 2020 there will be no ticket sales on site — tickets must be purchased online in advance.
- Freiluftkino Friedrichshain in Volkspark Friedrichshain, normally 1,800 seats, until June 15th 2020; 200 seats, afterwards 500 seats / €8.50 / Chairs, benches, seat cushions / Disposable rain ponchos (€1) / Meatballs, sausages, popcorn / DF, selected films in OmU
Friedrichshagen may not be on your radar yet, but the quaint district outside the Ring definitely should be. Combine a trip to the open-air cinema that’s also known as ‘Naturtheater’ with a stroll around Friedrichshagen’s flea market on Sundays or a swim at Müggelsee. International films are generally shown dubbed into German.
- Freiluftkino Friedrichshagen Behind Kurpark 13, Friedrichshagen, 650 seats, mostly comfortable benches with backrests / About 100 seats covered / €8 / special events like Gundermann with live music or East Berlin Poetry Slam (different entrance fees) / Thüringer Rostbratwurst, homemade popcorn and nachos, sweet snacks / DF, occasionally OF or OmU
Spandau’s old town is a fantastic backdrop for one of the prettiest open-air cinemas in Berlin. In the cosy courtyard of Spandau City Library, the cultural programme begins after sunset. Films such as Knives Out and A Star is Born pepper the lineup up of predominantly German films.
- OpenAirKino Spandau Inner courtyard of the municipal library, Carl-Schurz-Str. 13, Spandau, up to 300 seats, including 15-30 deckchairs / €8.50 / Concessions for schoolchildren, students and disabled persons / Extra length surcharge: €0.50 (from 110 min), €1 (from 130 min) / Lending of blankets, pillows, hot water bottles (€0.50 each) / Catering stand with cold and hot food & drinks / Break in each screening after approx. 70-90 mins / DF, documentaries in OmU
Did you know that besides a mini-golf course and a petting zoo, you can also find a fairly sizeable outdoor cinema in Hasenheide? Most films are shown in English with German subtitles, sometimes German with English subtitles. Grab a drink, lean back, soak up the warm evening air and it’s movie time! Current films are shown, but older productions also make an appearance.
- Freiluftkino Hasenheide Volkspark Hasenheide, Neukölln, normally 1,000 seats, until 15th June 2020; 200 seats, afterwards 500 seats / €9 / OmU, German films usually OmeU / Children’s films DF, until 7th September, daily
The open-air cinema in the courtyard of Bethanien, the arts institution in a former hospital in Kreuzberg, is one of the oldest of its kind in Berlin. Lovers of original versions (and English-speaking expats) get their money’s worth here, as most films are shown in OmU (original with subtitles). You can either sit on your own blanket or in one of the comfortable deck chairs. The kiosk offers a good selection of drinks and snacks from classic popcorn to hearty meatballs.
Freiluftkino Kreuzberg Mariannenplatz, Kreuzberg, normally 600 seats, until 15th June 2020; 200 seats, afterwards 500 seats / €8.50 / Deckchairs, seat cushions, blankets / Disposable rain ponchos (€1) / Meatballs, sausages, popcorn / OmU or OmeU
Sommerkino Kulturforum at Potsdamer Platz
Deckchairs and the best art-house movies of the year — sign us up! Together with the French-German TV channel Arte, Berlin’s Yorck cinema chain runs the Sommerkino on Potsdamer Platz. A beautiful location with views of the Potsdamer Platz skyline, where the lights twinkle at dusk.
- Sommerkino Kulturforum am Potsdamer Platz Matthäikirchplatz 4/6, Tiergarten, normally 1,000 seats, until 15th June 2020; 200 seats, then 500 seats / €9, concessions €8 / Deckchairs / No cinema during heavy rain / No barbecue, but usual cinema snacks such as popcorn / DF and OmU
Wedding’s Rehberge Park is home to an open-air cinema, too, and it might well have the most nature-y vibe of the lot. The stage was built in the 1930s, served as an open-air theatre after the war and was finally abandoned to vandalism. It was not until 2008 that a new operator took over the gem and extensively renovated it. They screen a mix of well-known classics, popular films of the year, and art-house specials.
Freiluftkino Rehberge in Volkspark Rehberge, Windhuker Straße / Petersallee, Wedding, normally 1,500 seats, until 15th June 2020; 200 seats, afterwards 500 seats / benches and seat cushions / €8.50 / Disposable rain ponchos (€1) / Meatballs, sausages, popcorn / DF, sometimes OmU
Freilichtbühne by Weißensee
Children’s films, GDR classics, puppet theatre — and some of the films you missed in the cinema last year and are excited to see in a far nicer setting. Go for a swim at the lake, then settle down with some popcorn for the evening.
Freilichtbühne Weißensee Große Seestr. 9, Weißensee, from 27th June 2020, approx. 200 seats at the small stage / €7 / Upholstered chairs & deckchairs / Various snacks; no grill / Often OmU, at weekends mostly DF
Open-Air-Kino at Bahnhof Charlottenburg
Thanks to Deutsche Bahn’s ‘Smart City’ concept, there’s now also an open-air cinema at Charlottenburg station. Films are shown there every Thursday — until 3rd September. The programme includes the like of Joker, Systemsprenger and B-Movie.
Astor Filmlounge & Alice present the Rooftop Cinema at Stilwerk
Rooftop Cinema — the name says it all. In cooperation with the Astor Film Lounge there are now film screenings on the Alice roof terrace. The views are fantastic — Alice is located directly above Stilwerk Berlin, after all. Sheltered from the wind and über-chic, you can really relax here. Nine films will be screened, including Korean masterpiece Parasite, award-winning drama Systemsprenger and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. It opens two hours before the film starts, and afterwards you can enjoy the view at night.
- Rooftop Cinema – from Alice Rooftop und Astor Filmlounge Kantstr. 17, Charlottenburg, 50 seats / Seats assigned by staff / Admission includes a package with tarte flambée, popcorn and summer drink such as gin and tonic, From €39.90
Berlin’s new drive-in cinema culture
In addition to the open-air cinemas Berlin has to offer, there are now also drive-in cinemas, built all over Germany during the corona crisis. New is the drive-in cinema with the whimsical name ‘Carrona’. It started in cooperation with the Zoo Palast on June 6th at parking lot P05 at the Olympic Stadium — with the usual restrictions.
- Carrona Autokino Berlin Parkplatz P 05 at Olympiastadion, www.carrona.de
Schönefeld is home to ‘Autokino Berlin’, which also hosts concerts and drive-in cinema parties.
- Autokino Berlin Hans-Grade-Allee 54, Schönefeld, www.autokino-berlin.de
Freiluftkino Biesdorfer Parkbühne
Beautiful open-air stage in the countryside, directly at Schlosspark Biesdorf. The focus is on German productions as well as international music films.
- Freiluftkino Biesdorfer Parkbühne in Schlosspark Biesdorf, Nordpromenade 5, 150 to 200, but also 400 to 500 seats possible / €9, concessions €7 / Extra length surcharge (from 2h): €0.50 / Start approx. 9.45pm or 10pm, Sept. approx. 8pm / Rain ponchos (€3) on site / Snacks available / DF
Updated with translations from original text by Max Müller
Berlin’s open-air cinemas are usually one of the first things most people fall in love with when they move here — along with the city’s most beautiful waterside restaurants.