Open-Air Cinemas in Berlin 2021: Great Films Outdoors
Berlin has dozens of open-air cinemas (or "Freiluftkino" in German): some very small and hidden in parks, a few with deckchairs in front of inflatable screens, and others large and in the style of ancient amphitheatres. The cinemas’ programmes are just as varied as their architecture. What they all have in common is the special charm of open-air cinemas. On warm summer nights, there is often a gentle breeze in the air; there is plenty of space and room to move. As a result, everything is very relaxed, especially under Corona conditions. Sometimes the nights can get chilly, though. But real fans and summer children know: There is only bad clothing, not bad weather for open-air films. Therefore: Pack a rainproof jacket, somewhat thicker socks, mosquito repellent and a cosy blanket, and the fun can begin under the starry Berlin sky!
Freiluftkino Kreuzberg: enjoy queer classics
The queerest cinema on the scene is Freiluftkino Kreuzberg. Behind the Künstlerhaus Bethanien on Mariannenplatz, it is situated in a secluded location on a large lawn and offers deckchairs for relaxed film enjoyment. At Freiluftkino Kreuzberg, LGBTQI* classics and more alternative arthouse cinema film favourites are screened. The gay organisers curate the programme. Berlin's only OmU outdoor cinema digitally projects a different film every evening. OmU means films are screened in their original languages, with subtitles German films are shown with English subtitles.
Mariannenplatz 2, Berlin-Kreuzberg
U Kottbusser Tor
Freiluftkino Hasenheide: queer films in the amphitheatre
Berliners love the Volkspark Hasenheide on the border between Neukölln and Kreuzberg. One of the many reasons for this is Hasenheide Park’s open-air cinema. This is a Berlin institution that has enjoyed a solid standing in the cultural landscape for many years. The cinema makes use of a brick amphitheatre in the park, in which concerts and other events also take place on its stage. The film programme is diverse and also includes films focusing on LGBTQI* topics. Here too, films are often shown in the original English version with German subtitles.
In the Volkspark Hasenheide, Berlin-Neukölln
Parkbühne Biesdorf: an outdoor cinema with a fairytale atmosphere
In the very east of the city, the Parkbühne Biesdorf is picturesquely located in the Schlosspark. Away from the trendy districts, you can enjoy films here under the stars and discover a completely different Berlin before or after the screenings. In addition, the cinema offers visitors plenty of rustling leaves and a fairytale atmosphere.
In the Schlosspark Biesdorf
Freiluftkino Friedrichshain: cinema at the gay hotspot
Freiluftkino Friedrichshain is also situated in a park, but in the much busier Volkspark Friedrichshain. It is hidden in this huge park, not far from Märchenbrunnen, the well-known gay meeting place. This venue, which is also the setting for the annual lesbian and gay Park Festival, is run by gay film professionals, in combination with the Kreuzberg and Rehberge open-air cinemas. There are over 1,000 seats available on comfortable benches, as well as seating on chairs with tables. In addition to the many films that were also shown at the Berlinale, classic films (as well as some LGBTQI* gems), readings, and other cultural events also take place here - frequently with queer content.
In Volkspark Friedrichshain, Berlin-Friedrichshain
S Landsberger Allee
Kino Central: sophisticated queer films
The small, cosy courtyard cinema of Kino Central in Mitte is very urban. Here, in the back yard of a factory building, some more recent queer films produced in the last few years are shcreened in a very alternative atmosphere, as well as politically and artistically sophisticated art house cinema.
Rosenthaler Straße 39, Berlin-Mitte
S Hackescher Markt
On the rooftop terrace of the HKW: films in the midst of spectacular architecture
The Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) in Tiergarten has a very special ambience. Since the first Corona Summer of 2020, cinema evenings and other events have been held outdoors on the roof terrace. The programme features primarily the arts, including short film programmes and non-normative films. The quirky architecture of the former congress hall (known simply in Berlin as the ‘pregnant oyster’), is itself worth a visit. The surrounding grounds, set in the picturesque Tiergarten, are ideal for cooling off in summer. Incidentally, the HKW stands right next to the former site of the Institute for Sexual Research headed by Magnus Hirschfeld - where homosexual emancipation began almost 100 years ago.
Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW)
John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10, Berlin-Tiergarten
Other recommended outdoor cinemas
Freiluftkino Rehberge in Wedding
Summer cinema at Schloss Charlottenburg
Summer cinema Kulturforum
Freiluftkino Union in Friedrichshagen
Freiluftkino Pompeji at Ostkreuz
Dates and prices
The outdoor cinema season in Berlin ends in early or mid-September. Dates vary, depending on the weather and the cinema. Ticket prices are usually between 7 and 10 euros.