Movie buffs will be pleased to know there are a plethora of English-language cinemas in Germany. If you happen to live in one of the popular expat cities, Berlin, München, or Frankfurt, here’s where to find the best.
For many avid cinema-goers, dealing with heavy-handed dubbed movies can take its toll. Furthermore, watching their favorite Hollywood stars, be it Robert De Niro or Meryl Streep, speak German (or any language for that matter) just doesn’t feel right. Equally, if they haven’t quite mastered the German language just yet, going to see an original German movie might seem a little daunting.
Luckily, for English-speaking expats living in Germany, there is a solid network of cinemas which offer, and sometimes specialize in, cinema in its original language. So grab the popcorn and head to one of these English-language movie theatres.
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Understanding German cinema listings
When consulting movie guides in Germany, you will usually come across the same abbreviations which are used to indicate the language of the film. It is important to understand what these mean so you don’t end up feeling clueless as to what’s going on on the big screen. Below are the acronyms to look for in the cinema listings.
OV means “Original Version”. It may also say OF meaning “Original-Fassung”. However, note that this doesn’t necessarily mean English. For instance, if it is a French-made film then the original version is likely to be in the French language; with or without German subtitles. For most blockbuster Hollywood movies, however, the original version will be English.
OmU means “Original with subtitles”. This means you will see the movie in the original language (English, French, or whatever) with German subtitles.
OmenglU means “Original language with English-language subtitles”. Now that you know what abbreviations to look for when choosing a movie, you can head to your nearest cinema.
The best English-language cinemas in Berlin
Unsurprisingly, Berlin boasts a good selection of cinemas that screen films in English. Here are some of the most popular ones among expats.
This long-standing cinema has been a firm favorite among expats living in Berlin. English-language films are screened here with a cozy, old-school ambiance. In fact, it is probably one of the first cinemas in Berlin and Germany to show mainly movies in their original English Version.
Odeon, Hauptstraße 116, 10827 Berlin
Housed inside one of the most iconic buildings in Prenzlauer Berg, The Kulturbrauerei, Cinestar is one of the bigger cinemas in Berlin. Most screenings are in OV or OmU, but check their website before you go as some of the movies are shown dubbed in German. There are several bars and clubs nearby, too.
Cinestar, Schönhauser Allee 36, 10435 Berlin
Hackesche Höfe Kino
Located in the heart of Berlin, this snug independent movie theater mostly screens international movies in English with German subtitles so you can practice your German too. They also offer great popcorn and wine.
Hackesche Höfe Kino, Rosenthaler Str. 40 -41, 10178 Berlin
This charming old-style cinema shows many current movies in English with and without subtitles. It was renovated in the late 90s and now hosts special programs and international festivals such as the Turkish Film Week and the Jewish Film Festival. Be warned though, there is no seat allocation so arrive early to avoid disappointment.
Neues Off, Hermannstraße 20, 12049 Berlin
This quirky independent movie theater with OV movies which is perfect for expats. It also doubles up as a popular cozy café and bar where you can relax before and after the movie with a delicious cocktail and tasty snacks. You can also rent the cinema for private events, whether it is screenings,
performances, or seminars. Full catering is also available.
IL KINO, Nansenstraße 22, Berlin, Germany
UCI Luxe Mercedes Platz
For the most luxurious and modern cinema experience, UCI Luxe at Mercedes Platz in Friedrichshain has it all. IMAX screenings and the impressive ScreenX are a must-try for avid movie lovers. There are more than 14 screening rooms so you’re sure to find all the latest releases.
UCI Luxe Mercedes Platz, Mildred-Harnack-Straße 13, 10243 Berlin
Other English-language cinemas in Berlin
Babylon Kreuzberg, Dresdener Str. 126, 10999 Berlin
fsk – Kino am Oranienplatz, Segitzdamm 2, 10969 Berlin
Kant Kino, Kantstraße 54, 10627 Berlin
Rollberg Kinos, Rollbergstraße 70, 12049 Berlin
Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art E.V, Potsdamer Straße 2, 10785 Berlin
Xenon Kino, Kolonnenstraße 5-6, 10827 Berlin
Kino Central, Rosenthaler Str. 39, 10178 Berlin
The best English-language cinemas in München
Luckily for expats, there are plenty of great cinemas in München that screen movies in English. Whether you’re looking for small and independent movie theaters, or big and fancy, here are our top picks.
Cinema Filmtheater München
The only exclusively OV cinema in München, Cinema Filmtheater is the first choice for many English-speaking expats. Although the cinema is quite small and offers limited showtimes, the seats are comfy and the staff all speak English. Look out for the special discount offers, too.
Cinema Filmtheater München, Nymphenburger Str. 31, 80335 München
Located right next to Karlsplatz and Stachus, this large, modern cinema screens a mix of German and English movies, including a good selection of OV flicks. The movie theater is popular among expats for its generous legroom and central location, too.
Mathäser Filmpalast, Bayerstrasse 3-5, 80335 München
This small cinema regularly screens original version movies, however, the free seating means you have to arrive to get a good spot. Quirky fact, the cinema has screened the cult classic, The Rocky Horror Show, in the original version, every week since 1977!
Museum Lichtspiele, Lilienstraße 2, 81669 München
This large cinema is highly rated among expats for its slick design, free cloakroom service, comfortable and spacious seating, and excellent food and drink selection; which guests can order from their seats. It shows German & international films (some in OV) plus Q&A sessions.
ARRI Kino, Türkenstraße 91, 80799 München
For a fancy night out at the movies, you can’t beat Gloria Palast. This stylish and spacious cinema offers large, comfortable extendable seating, high-end snacks, and service at your seat. The Apfelstrudel is particularly popular. The cinema also boasts an upscale bar and a program featuring new releases, old classics, and opera transmissions.
Gloria Palast, Karlspl. 5, 80335 München
Other English-language cinemas in München
Theatinerstraße 32, 80333 München
CinemaxX, Isartorpl. 8, 80331 München
Arena Filmtheater BetriebsGmbH, Hans-Sachs-Straße 7, 80469 München
Maxim Kino, Landshuter Allee 33, 80637 München
The best English-language cinemas in Frankfurt
If you’re looking to catch a movie in English in Frankfurt, then you’re in luck. This popular expat city offers several highly-rated movie theaters that screen all the latest Hollywood and non-mainstream flicks.
This might not be the cheapest cinema in Frankfurt for tickets and snacks, but it remains one of the city’s most famous and popular. It’s spacious showrooms, great selection of original version movies, and convenient location also make it a top choice among expat movie-lovers.
CineStar Metropolis, Eschenheimer Anlage 40, 60318 Frankfurt am Main
This nostalgic little cinema offers a great alternative to mainstream movies, offering a selection of English-language movies. However, these are only screened on Sundays and are OmU (original language with subtitles). There are some great food and drink options nearby too.
Harmonie Kinos, Dreieichstraße 54, Frankfurt am Main
ASTOR Film Lounge
Offering comfortable, spacious seating, a good range of original version movies, and a free cloakroom and welcome drink, ASTOR Film Lounge is increasingly popular among movie-goers in Frankfurt. Guests can order food and drink straight to their seat, or enjoy them at the venue’s bar.
ASTOR Film Lounge, Zeil 106, Frankfurt am Main
If you prefer a more intimate atmosphere, E-Kinos is the perfect spot. The vintage-style cinema is smaller (and a little cheaper) than other cinemas in town. That said, it screens a great choice of OV movies and food and drinks to boot. This might be a good option for a romantic date night in the city.
E-Kinos, Zeil 125, Liebfrauenstraße 3, 60313 Frankfurt am Main
Other English-language cinemas in Frankfurt
Cineplex Eldorado, Schäfergasse 29, Frankfurt am Main
Mal Seh’n cinema e.V., Adlerflychtstraße 6, Frankfurt am Main
Cinema, Roßmarkt 7, Frankfurt am Main
Berger Kino, Berger Str. 177, 60385 Frankfurt am Main