Independent movie-lovers will be happy to know that their Lisbon visit can include a jaunt through the city’s most memorable arthouse cinemas. The city is also home to the Indie Lisboa, an annual international film festival which takes place in early May. The festival may be over for this year, but there are still plenty of great locations to see arthouse movies.
Cinema São Jorge
The Indie Lisboa is run annually at the Cinema de São Jorge, which was built in the 1950s and remains one of the traditional arthouse cinemas in the city. Located on Avenida da Liberdade, this is the place to see movies, documentaries, poetry readings, or film premieres from one of its three rooms with full size screens.
About 350 metres from the Cinema São Jorge is Cinemateca – a theatre, museum and café in one. Built in 1948 and housed in Art Nouveau surroundings, this is a great place to see the most recent hits or old classics, as well as a cool hangout to meet friends and chat. The museum is a great stop for movie fans too, where you can see the different methods used for film-making through cinema history.
While the cinema at the base floor of the 19th-century Campo Pequeno bullring mostly shows the current hits that are found at any other normal theatre, it offers national independent films too. The building itself is also worth seeing, even for visitors who don’t care for bullfighting, with its Arab-influenced architecture and the many events scheduled throughout the year.
Medeia Monumental Cinema
Belonging to the Medeia film group, the Monumental cinema is found in Saldanha and offers four rooms with a combined 378 seats. It is considered one of the most remarkable and visually-appealing of its kind in the Portuguese capital, offering both international and local cinema.
Another name in the Medeia family is Espaço Nimas – also known as Cinema Nimas – located near the Medeia Monumental Cinema in Saldanha. Their independent films are called Special Sessions and the venue also sells DVDs and news publications. In addition to independent films, the Medeia group also shows movies in 3D.