Only a few arthouse cinemas that screen independent films exist in Bosnia, and most of these are in Sarajevo. The Bosnian Wars and Sarajevo’s Siege (1992-1995), destroyed most of the country’s cultural centres. Today, they’re slowly being rebuilt but, inevitably, you won’t find as many as in Paris or London. But the ones that do exist are worth visiting.
Meeting Point Cinema, Sarajevo
Meeting Point, also called Kino Meeting Point, is an important arthouse cinema in Bosnia. Located in central Sarajevo approximately 1 kilometre from Bascarsija, this cinema shows a combination of blockbusters and independent films. It can seat up to 190. You can view the latest from the United States and Europe as well as those produced in the Balkans and Bosnia.
The cinema is a member of the Europe Cinemas Network and Run by Obala Art Center, which organises the Sarajevo Film Festival. Since opening in 1997, the cinema attracts art and film fans who often like hang out in the adjoining the Meeting Point Café.
Open from: Monday to Saturday 8:00am to 11:00pm. Sunday: 3:00pm to 11:00pm
Hamdije Kreševljakovića 13, 71000 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Tel: +387 33 668 186
Kriterion, between Bascarsija and the Sarajevo city centre, screens lots of arthouse films. The main hall has 75 seats, 11 bean bags and extra space on busy nights. Food and drink, including draft beer, is available inside.
Students are the main patrons of this cinema, as well as professors from the nearby university. Regional and Bosnian films screen nightly at 6:00pm and 8:30pm. Since films usually show only once, it’s vital to check the schedule beforehand if there’s something you want to see.
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday midday to midnight. Friday and Saturday: 1:00pm to midnight. Closed on Sunday.
Obala Kulina bana 2, 71000 Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Tel: +387 33 203 113
Operation Kino, Bosnia
Not everyone in Bosnia has access to a cinema on their doorstep, and many of the smaller towns and cities don’t have one at all. Operation Kino, which is part of the Sarajevo Film Fest, was created as a solution to this a problem and gives Bosnians around the country access to films when they’re unable to travel. Operation Kino provides films on demand. The truck drives to smaller towns and sets up screens, in order to give people living in rural areas the opportunity to enjoy the latest films.
Screenings are held during the Sarajevo Film Festival in August.
Cineplexx Palas, Banja Luka
Although there’s no dedicated arthouse cinema in Banja, you can catch blockbusters, regional films and the occasional independent movie at Cineplexx Palas, or Banja Luka’s central movie theatre. Tickets cost no more than 5 KM ($3) for the most expensive screenings in 3D. The Cineplexx Palas is opposite Park Petar Kocic in central Banja Luka.
Opening hours: First screenings start at around 11:45am. The last films begin at 10:30pm.
Trg Krajine, Banja Luka 78000, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Tel: +387 51 217-409
Other Cinemas in Bosnia
In other places, if you want to catch a film or soak up some culture with a Bosnian or regional Balkan movie, check out CineStar in Mostar or Cinestar Bihac or Zenica’s Multiplex Ekran. Bosnia is slowly recovering from the war and currently in the process of a cultural renaissance, so watch this cinematic space.