Berlin has a real cult of movie-goers and some of the best cinemas of any capital in Europe. From a Kiez kino in the heart of Kreuzberg, to an iconic GDR movie house, red-velvet seating and an in-house brewery, Berlin has a host of remarkable arthouse cinemas that is enough for any cinephile to feel at home. Here are some of the petite but brilliant places to cultivate the Berlin big screen spirit.
Founded in 1909, today the Intimes Cinema is hidden by an unmistakable graffiti façade. What began as a small shop and a whole lot of moving picture passion, has grown into one of the foremost private institutions for avant-garde cinema in Berlin. There programme includes the best of new releases, art-house and foreign language films.The ambience pays homage to this long tradition, offering a living-room atmosphere and an an eclectic mix of original wood panels, 1970s hippie decor and post-modern digital technology.
Most certainly not another modern cinema complex, Odeon is a petite place in Schöneberg neighborhood that has been making serious cultural waves since opening in 1985. The best thing about the program is that it offers movie screenings in their original language, adding to the quality of the viewing. Films are shown in a small but charming space that is both intimate and cozy, complete with red velvet chairs, single-seat sofas and one large silver screen. Add some popcorn and brownies to the mix and a great cinema night is on the cards!
A multiple-award-winning cinema that specialises in shorts and documentaries, Acud has been honoured countless times for its quality and tradition. Spread over six redecorated floors, the building is a mix of culture, art gallery and theater, however it manages to keep the tone of beatnik film house that its loyal viewers are so accustomed to.
TIlsiter Lichtspiele is one of the oldest art-house cinemas in Berlin, having been screening since 1908. The apartment building it’s now housed in came under the shadow of the Stasi for over three decades in the middle of the century though, ushering in a much darker period of Tilsiter’s past. Reborn into the independent and conceptual space it is today, Tilsiter Lichtspiele projects a necessary dose of classical and monochrome films with a subtle touch of documentary and art-house, many of which consider the issues of Iron Curtain Berlin.
With a strong focus on the emerging cinematic scene of the city, Lichtblick Cinema is a contributor to the non-conformist Berliner landscape, gathering film-makers and picture-goers together in the same 32-seat salon. The smallest cinema in Berlin is also one of the strongest voices in terms of independent projection, allowing classical pieces, documentaries and new-wave creations alike onto its reels.
With an exquisite air of alternative, Sputnik Cinema is an art-house that accommodates carefully picked films in two petite rooms that have rocked the history of Berlin media since 1984. Formerly managed by the production company which did the controversial Good Bye Lenin, it screens today a great range of short-films, documentaries, concerts and numerous events. The use of the bar as a third beamer projection space says so much about how Berliners just love the non-conformist atmosphere, not to mention that splendid panorama over the city from the balcony!
Boasting a unique and friendly atmosphere from its location in a curious glass building near Oranienplatz, Fsk Cinema is an oasis of independent films, award-winning documentaries and art-related screenings. Host of some of the top realist French movies, southern European come-backs and Eastern Europe’s new-wave projects, seats here often sell out fast. Fsk also hosts a regular calendar of movie-related debates, seminars, workshops and lectures.