Lights, camera, action! If you’re looking for a night at the movies with more of an arty feel, then there are plenty of independent cinemas in Munich screening films from all over the world. Whether you want to catch a foreign language film while sitting on a beanbag or watch an iconic classic in an opulent environment, there’s a cinema for every movie lover on this list.
City Kino is actually a group of four cinemas in Munich, each with a slightly different focus. Its most intimate, arthouse setting is the cinema on Sonnenstraße, the City Filmtheater. This place dates back to 1959 when it catered to the post-war boom of cinema goers keen to see the latest hits. Today, the three screens show arthouse films from all over the world. After your movie’s finished, head to the café-bar for a drink, or enjoy the evening in their beer garden.
This place is a real blend of styles. At first glance, the generic red seats and large screen make it look like any other mainstream cinema; however, Monopol Kino has a diverse, arthouse programme showing movies from all over the world. These guys are film purists; on the upside, that means no on-screen advertising, and on the downside, that means no popcorn or nachos! For true style though, head to the Kinobar screen. Here, you’ll get a bit of old-school glamour from the in-room bar that serves drinks before and after the screening.
There’s one corner of Munich that’s been doing the time warp for a very long time; the Lichtspiele cinema has been playing The Rocky Horror Picture Show every Friday and Saturday night for 30 years – and counting! The cinema itself has been going since 1910, and the iconic movie has been on the programme since June 24, 1977! As always with this movie, costumes are more than welcome, and the screening starts at 11 pm.
If you’re looking for an authentic, old-school movie experience, Theatiner Filmkunst is the way to go. Its founder, Walter Kirchner, was a huge fan of French Nouvelle Vague films and opened the cinema in 1953 as a way to introduce them to Germany. Today, it’s kept much of its charm with velvet-covered seats in a small screening room. Try and get seats near the front because the screen is a little smaller than those in modern cinemas, and there’s no Dolby surround sound.
Werkstattkino, located in a former bowling alley, started as a passion project for a group of friends. As a result, there’s an incredibly diverse programme showing everything from German brothel films from the 1970s to Japanese monster films and documentaries. There’s a guestbook too where you can suggest movies that you’d like to see on the big screen. The five friends do everything from selling tickets to showing the movie, and if you manage to actually find this underground one-screen cinema, it’s a real hidden gem.
Walking past, you don’t immediately assume that New Maxim Cinema is a cinema. With its wide arched windows and position on noisy Landshuter Allee, you can see right into the screening room, but when the thick curtains come across, and the movie starts, the place is transformed. The cinema also has some serious history: it survived World War II and is now the third-oldest cinema in Munich. It prides itself on blending independent with more arty mainstream movies and also hosts regular discussions and talks.