The Best Classic Cinemas in Rome

Photo of Marianna Hunt
14 October 2016

A jewel of a city: Rome is known by many as the cultural capital of Europe, exhibiting the best of literature, art, photography, and film that Italy has to offer. The site of numerous film festivals, and home to many of the world’s most famous actors, screenwriters, and filmmakers, a visit to Rome is a truly unmissable opportunity for any film fanatic; and nowhere is Rome’s fantastic cultural scene more evident that in its superb cinemas.

A beautiful old cinema | © Dave WIlson Cumbria/Flickr

Casa del Cinema

Cinema, Park, Theater
Map View
No trip to this Mecca of cinema is complete without a visit to Casa del Cinema. This arthouse cinema is housed in a pavilion inside the grounds of Rome’s iconic Villa Borghese Park. The lush green leaves make for a perfectly shady canopy for the outdoor theater, which shows open-air screenings in the garden during the summer months. The indoor screen is equally breathtaking, inside the elegant pavilion which also contains an exhibition space, bookshop, and café. Films are chosen based on a themed event schedule for the different days of the week, and many of the international films are screened in their original language.

Nuovo Sacher

Cinema, Theater, Movie Theater
Map View
The cult following behind celebrated Roman director Nanni Moretti, who founded the cinema, ensured the popularity of Nuovo Sacher with Rome’s hipster crowds from the very beginning. A small setting and the crimson velvet of the seats give Nuovo Sacher the feel of a truly authentic arthouse cinema, and have made it a firm favorite with Rome’s young and trendy population. This is the place to experience the best of modern arthouse cinema and to discover the up-and-coming talents of European film.

Alcazar Cinema

Map View
Rome's stunning skyline
Rome's stunning skyline | Courtesy of Stefan Hunt
As soon as you cross the entrance of the Alcazar Cinema, it will feel as though time has stopped. The plush red interior and old-fashioned décor of this vintage cinema make for a perfect pairing to the timeless classics and cinematic adventures into the past that are screened here. Many international films are hosted here in their original language, as are the Italian masterpieces. Alcazar Cinema’s location, among the cobbled backstreets of Trastevere, Rome’s Jewish quarter, means that the surrounding area bursts with the same fascinating cultural feel as the cinema itself, and is a fantastic place to explore by night.

Isola del Cinema

During the summer months, Rome’s river bank is transformed into a buzzing hive of activity. The area is taken over by gourmet Italian street food sellers, stylish pop-up bars, artisan craft stalls, vintage markets, live music events, exhibition spaces, and the temporary cinema space: Isola del Cinema. These all form part of the Lungo Il Tevere Festival which runs for most of June, July, and August. The pop-up cinema hosts a wide range of films, from shorts to world films, to indie favorites and world-famous classics that’ll make you fall in love with Italy. Soak up the best of the vibrant, multi-cultural atmosphere at a screening of one of the many international films shows at the Isola del Cinema.

Cinema dei Piccoli

Cinema, Park, Movie Theater
Map View
The Cinema dei Piccoli
The Cinema dei Piccoli | © Truus, Bob & Jan too!/Flickr
A true curiosity of the cinematic world. For those seeking a very unique film experience in Rome: make a beeline for the Cinema dei Piccoli. This cinema, located just by the southern entrance to the Villa Borghese Park, is the world’s smallest. The bizarre chalet-style of the cinema, as well as its tiny size, lend it a wonderfully intimate atmosphere. Visit in the daytime for one of the screenings of world-class children’s films, or come in the evening to snuggle up in the cinema’s comfortable chairs for a night of great movies.

Warner Village Moderno

Map View
One of the most stylish and modern cinema complexes in the city, Warner Village Moderno is the best place in Rome to catch the latest Hollywood releases and major blockbusters from around the world. At this five screen complex can be found one of the widest choices of English language films in Italy. The cinema’s location, amongst the superb architecture of the stunning Piazza della Repubblica, makes for a highly chic setting. The cinema is also incredibly central and very accessible from all areas of Rome.

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