This week, the famous Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (KVIFF) starts in the Czech Republic. This is the largest film festival in the country, and it is said to be the most prestigious and professionally important such festival in Central and Eastern Europe. It does not happen in Prague, however, but in Karlovy Vary (Carlsbad), a city located in the West of the country, mainly known for various spas. Many Czech and internationals visit this big event each year.
If you are into film, but can not make it to Karlovy Vary this year, don’t despair! One very typical thing about Prague is that there are many small independent cinemas, which are based on a long tradition from the first half of 20th century. Importantly, they offer a very different experience from usual multiplexes; they screen alternative high quality movies, mostly in original languages with Czech or / and English subtitles. They also host various international film festivals thorough the whole year.
So, either if you are into film industry and you cannot make it to KVIFF, or you simply look for a local experience in Prague, feel invited into Prague cinemas! It is also a good way to cool down during the warm summer days (or to find a programme in case the weather is not as good as you expected).
Our tips below come with some interesting facts about the places, and with tips what to do after the movie.
1. Kino Lucerna
Kino Lucerna is one of the oldest and most classical cinemas in Europe, existing since 1909.
It has two screening halls; the original big hall has an astonishing art nouveau interior. The smaller hall, which is in operation since 2013, serves also as a small galerry of movie artists from all over the world. Even though the cinema preserved its original interior designs, it has a very good screening technology, providing the best experience, including 3D. Entering the screening halls, one has to pass through Lucerna Café, a very stylish café / bar, where you can have a drink and discuss your impressions from the movies.
Lucerna Palace is an interesting building with long history. It was built at the beginning of 20th century by the grandfather of the former Czech president Vaclav Havel. Next to the cinema, there is a spacious ballroom hall; if you happen to go through the passage (an architectonic phenomenon, very typical for Prague centre) in winter, you might come across fancy dressed up people in long dresses and suits! They either go to a classical ball, or to ballroom dancing lessons, which both have long and strong tradition in the Czech Republic. Also, there is Lucerna Music Bar, mostly known for its 80s 90s discotheque parties, as for concerts of well known international interprets of various music genres. Also, if you raise your head and look at the ceiling, you will notice St. Wenceslas sitting on a reversed horse, a statute made by the famous Czech artist David Černý. In July 2017, Lucerna will host Best Film Fest! – showcase of the best movies of 2017.
Location: Vodičkova 791/41, Prague 1. Right on the opposite of Passage Lucerna.
Kino Světozor in its current form has been opened only in 2004, but has a long history as well; first screening happened here in 1918. The cinema focuses on wide spectrum of audience, but sticks solely to an artistic production. It also has two screening halls, where you can choose to watch premieres and exclusive projections, or documentaries, experimental films, minor genres and Czech films with English subtitles.
If you missed KVIFF, in July you will have a chance to catch up here; Světozor will be screening movies from the festival.
There is a bar, where you can sit and look at artistic photography exhibitions, or buy a drink (which you can take into the screening hall with you, even if its beer or wine). There is also a poster shop for poster lovers. Do you like sweets? Right next to the cinema you can taste some good cakes or one of the best ice cream in Prague, in the well known candy shop called Ovocný Světozor.
3. Kino Evald
Location: Národní 60/28, Prague 1. One block from our Vladislavova apartments.
This is a small branch of another classical movie theatre, Kino Atlas (located near Florenc metro station). The special thing about this cinema is that they include film selection suitable primary for seniors (but accessible, of course, to all ages). In summer 2017, they are screening six movies made by famous Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki.
4. Kino Pilotů
Location: Donská 168/19, Prague 10
Are you feeling like traveling a little bit further from the city centre, exploring new quarters and watch a movie as a local? Then we can recommend a small cinema called Kino Pilotů. It has only 150 seats. This cinema had been closed for a long time, but recently reopened, sticking with the tradition of 1930s Prague’s scene. It is located right next to Krymská street in Vinohrady / Vršovice, which used to be considered one of the most „hipster“ locations in Prague. Here, before or after the movie, you can go to one of many bars or restaurants, or visit Grebovka park and chill for a bit in the nature. If you are a wine lover, then visit the wine cellar and taste a glass of the exclusive local wine made from grapes grown right in Havlíčkovy Sady.
5. Summer cinema in front of Cross Club
Location: Plynární 1096/23, Prague 7. Next to the metro station Nadrazi Holesovice.
We will end this list of tips with something a little bit different. This option will be something for those who prefer to watch movies under the sky rather than in a closed screening halls, and who are interested in the alternative production.
Cross Club, an underground multi functional cultural place in Holešovice, is known primarily for its electronic music parties and workshops. In summer, there is an open air cinema in front of the venue, every wednesday at 9:30pm. They always screen in the original language, with subtitles. If you happen to be on a low budget, then you will be happy twice as much – these screenings have free entrance. After the movie, you can visit the club, have a drink and listen to some electronic music. Similarly to previous tips, local experience is guaranteed here.
Do you feel like visiting some open air projections during the summer? There are many more open air cinemas in Prague!
Need another tips to cool down during these hot days? We have another 6 Tips To Keep You Cool During A Hot Day In Prague!