Sinking into a plush seat, with a bag of buttery popcorn balancing in your lap, to stare up a giant screen and be thoroughly entertained for two hours is one of life’s enduring pleasures.
Luckily for Berliners, the movie theater, or Kino, scene is large and diverse, ranging from small, independent art houses to megaplexes featuring the latest in sound technology and IMAX pizzazz.
Unfortunately, most are inaccessible to non-German speakers, because when English-language films are screened, they’re more often than not dubbed into German. A number of Kinos, however, have taken it upon themselves to cater to English-speaking film fans. Check out the programs of the following theaters, and look for movies marked “OV” (original version) or “OmU” (original with subtitles).
The big daddy of English-language cineplexes is undoubtedly the CineStar multiplex in Potsdamer Platz’s Sony Center. With eight different theaters, this is the place to go for the widest selection of the latest Hollywood blockbusters. For those looking to add a smidge more intimacy on their date, two-person love seats can be reserved both online and in person.
A bit further west, next to bustling Breitscheidplatz, is another option: Zoo Palast, a classic theater that in 2013 was renovated to luxury heights with reclining, extra-wide leather seats.
Right in the heart of Mitte is the Hackesche Höfe Kino, which boasts two special features. The first is its location in the historic sprawling courtyard complex of a preserved 1906 building—arrive early so you can take a look around. And second, German movies are sometimes screened here with English subtitles, giving you a chance to experience local film culture.
For a more neighborhood-y feel, several cinemas run by the Yorck group also specialize in non-dubbed movies. These include Kino Babylon at Kottbusser Tor in Kreuzberg (Dresdener Str. 126) and Kino Rollberg (Rollberstr. 70) a little further south in Neukölln, which screens both blockbusters as well as indie films.