Cinemas in Prague's cinema guide

Prague is home to some of the finest art galleries and architecture in Europe, so it’s no surprise many of their cinemas are stylish, old, and like a lot of things, affordable. There are a range of multiplexes dotted around that are slightly more expensive and not as aesthetically pleasing but most of the cinemas are intriguing and unique. A lot of English language films come with Czech subtitles (so you can still hear George Clooney’s voice) with dubbing rare, as only 10 million people speak Czech Hollywood finds it hard to justify. If you intend to see a non-English film, be prepared for Czech subtitles.

Situated in Letná, Prague 7, Bio Oko has some unique seating and an excellent café/bar on the way in. The old theatre converted into a cinema has a nice upstairs balcony, but it is downstairs with deckchairs, sofas and even a convertible Trabant car that a few people can sit in to get that American drive-in atmosphere (with the added warmth of being inside). The bar area serves a variety of hot and cold drinks, a bit of food and is used for events such as book swaps, as well as having a separate exhibition area. Tickets cost around 100 CZK (or 80 CZK for students/pensioners).

With big and small screening halls (just 54 seats) Kino Světozor in Wenceslas Square is capable of showing more films than others, so is the place to go for rarer movies. This also makes it better for anyone searching for Czech films with English subtitles, as the small hall specialises in them, documentaries and animated films. Unsurprisingly there is a café/bar too where their own special Světozor lager is available. This area is also used as a gallery and even people not going to the cinema are free to visit and drink there.

Further East in Žižkov lies Kino Aero which is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. The place is popular with locals as, yet again, it features a bar which creates a good atmosphere for pre or post cinema activities. This provides a great environment for the many film festivals they have on too. It also has English subtitles on some foreign films (with Czech translations broadcast through headsets) and monthly blind date nights where visitors don’t find up what the film is until the lights go down and pay afterwards if they stay the whole time. Average cinema tickets cost 110 CZK.

Kino Atlas in Prague 8 near Florenc, has been open for over 70 years but was hit by floods in June this year, damaging the basement theatre which re-opened in August. It has two screens and the capabilities to show both 2D and 3D films (at a higher price), only in the large hall. There is Atlas café that serves authentic Italian coffee and with comfy seating it’s one of the best cinemas to experience 3D films in all their glory (usually 140 CZK or 110 CZK for 2D).

Back in the centre, just off Wenceslas Square, is the large Kino Lucerna. It has a stunning interior that is a mix of Renaissance and art nouveau styles, with upper and side balconies seating 450 people. Only the one screen means choice is limited to a small range of new and old films, but tickets are still usually 110 CZK despite the classy surroundings. Well worth a visit for the beautiful decor alone.

The largest cinema screen in the Czech Republic can be found at IMAX Flora in Cinema City, its huge screen showing films in the best quality 3D. The rest of Cinema City is what you’d expect from a multiplex; more expensive tickets (179 CZK for an adult) with overpriced popcorn and drinks. The IMAX screen however, is a highlight. Slightly more expensive as everything is in 3D, with glasses needing to be rented or brought along, it has a small variety of films which are all projected in superb quality and worth the extra crowns every now and then.

There are more cinemas scattered across Prague, such as the arty Kino Mat and the chain CineStar Praha in Anděl that shows a lot more mainstream American films. So whether it’s the newest thing out of Hollywood, Bollywood or an old Eastern Europe ‘classic’ that takes your fancy, Prague is bound to have one cinema screening it. Just remember to check what language the subtitles will be in beforehand.

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