The darkened theater, the giant silver screen, the booming sound – movie theaters were always meant to engross you, to help the film transport you out of the building and into an entirely new world. These cinemas take the ethos of extremity to heart, with a determination to sweep you off your feet that oozes from every inch of their structure.
The Kino International, Berlin
The Kino international was built from 1961 to 1963 in what was East Berlin. It was designed to be the flagship cinema of East Germany, and has remained a center of film in Germany ever since. A stunning example of modernist architecture, the design provides a sense of an immense space, and makes you feel like you’re really watching the cinema of the future. What’s more, unaltered fixtures and hand painted film posters make it perfect for those who want to see an immaculately preserved bubble of 1960s socialist germany.
Cine Urania, Budapest
The Cine Urania in Budapest is the reason the world opulent was invented. Built in the 1890s, the building is a grandiose combination of italian renaissance, venetian gothic, and arabic architecture and art. It’s also suffused with history, as the site where the first independent Hungarian feature film was shot, and the first film was screened in Hungary after World War 2. Boasting incomparable design and overflowing cultural significance, walking into this cinema will make a simple screening feel like a glittering event in film history.
Pula Arena, Croatia
The Pula Arena in Croatia is, well, just that. An actual roman arena. Built in 81 AD, it’s managed to last almost two millennia until today, and stands as one of the best preserved roman arenas in the entire world. It has been used for film screenings, concerts, and even ice hockey games! It’s also home to the Pula Film Festival, an annual showcase of Croatian cinema. In addition to it’s well preserved exterior, the underground passages have also been restored, and are home to exhibits on growing both olives and grapes for wine.
Cinémathèque francais, Paris
The Cinémathèque Francais is a true monument to the art of cinema. Founded in 1936 in Paris by Henri Langlois and Lotte H Eisner, the Cinémathèque survived several instances of near destruction to become a driving force in the development of french cinema. It also plays host to one of the largest archives dedicated to film in the world. With iconic outfits, original film posters, and famous props, the Cinémathèque is the perfect place for film buffs who want to take in a tangible history of the silver screen.
Film on the rocks, Colorado
Perhapst the venue that has taken the longest ever to be built, Film on the Rocks is situated in a natural amphitheatre that formed over 200 million years in Red Rocks, Colorado. The rock formation offers unbeatable acoustics, and the finest architecture that nobody ever designed. Since opening to the public in 1941, it’s played host to numerous concerts, live shows, and film screenings. Red Rocks offers a unique chance to watch a film under the open sky surrounded by unbelievable vistas, and be taken somewhere truly special.
Some of these cinemas are ancient, some of them are modern, but all of them provide a cinematic experience that can’t be found anywhere else. Any movie lover should consider a trip to one of these film wonders of the world.