The 7 Best Independent Cinemas in Moscow

Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Building| © Own Work/Wikimedia Commons
Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Building| © Own Work/Wikimedia Commons
Photo of Dasha Fomina
17 November 2017

Should you decide to take a break from а sightseeing marathon in Moscow and opt for a night at the movies, you’ll have 200 cinemas to choose from. If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind cinema experience and won’t settle for an average mall movie theatre, here are 7 of Moscow’s best independent cinemas.

Solovey Cinema Centre

Solovey Cinema Centre has 23 auditoriums, which is more than in any other European movie theatre. Every day you can choose from about 50 showtimes and watch films that no longer run in other theatres. As of November 2017, you can still catch up on La-La-Land and Woodie Allen’s Cafe Society.

Documentary Film Center

Housed in the Museum of Moscow, DFC was founded in 2013 to promote documentary films. Apart from cutting-edge documentaries, it shows non-fiction movies with limited release and popular indie films. The center often plays host to film premieres, lectures, workshops and film festivals.


Located in a monumental Stalinist building near Kursky Railway station, Moscow Cinema Star is a small, cosy movie theatre, where you can watch mainstream movies and attend private screenings – all while sipping tea and enjoying a piece of cake. This artistic movie theatre is particularly popular for opera translations, short film screenings, performances and one-person shows.


Popular with the hipster crowd, Pioner is way more than just a movie theatre. In this prevalent cultural center, you can see important film premieres and exciting retrospectives, lose track of time in a bookstore and stop for a bite at the elegant Cafe Pion. Pioner often plays host to film festivals, movie nights, lectures, book launches and discussions. The cinema is also known for its innovative projects like “At the Cinema, At Last”, where it shows restored versions and directors’ cuts of world-famous films (never before been released in Russian theatres).


Building, Cinema, Movie Theater
Map View
Here you can combine a Stalinist architecture tour with a movie night. Situated in the iconic Kotelnicheskaya Embankment Building, Illusion is arguably Moscow’s most atmospheric movie theatre that shows rare world cinema and hosts international movie weeks.

World of Art

World of Art specializes in classics of world cinema and modern Art House movies. You can explore cinematic legacies, the likes of Almodóvar, Eisenstein and Kusturica, by visiting regular retrospectives of their films.

Stanislavsky Electrotheatre

A spectacular old building in Moscow’s Tverskaya is home to a modern performance theatre, avantgarde bookstore, cocktail bar and intellectual cinema club. At Cine Fantom you can watch a rare underground film and take part in a panel discussion with famous film directors, screenwriters, actors and curators.

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