Have you ever watched a movie outside? Not just streaming Netflix on your phone or laptop in your own backyard. But an actual outdoor cinema, complete with a big screen, lots of filled seats around you, and even popcorn and candy. As you watch and get into the film, you can't help but feel the wind brush up against your face or perhaps even see the stars above you too. The experience is magical, even more so when it's in Europe! In this part of the world, some of the most magical outdoor cinemas include London's Rooftop Cinema Club, Barcelona's Sala Montjuic, Ibiza's Amante Movie Night, and Bologna's Cineteca di Bologna.
It's one thing to watch a movie outdoors and on a rooftop, no less, but what about when you're in a hot tub? This is what Hot Tub Cinema in London is all about! Beyond just an ordinary cinema, Hot Tub Cinema is an event where you can soak, sip, and stream (well technically, just watch!) all night long. It travels throughout all the different neighborhoods in London
, specifically its chicest rooftops. With a big screen and 30 hot tubs on offer, this is a great way to hang out with friends in the British capital.
Perhaps the most famous outdoor cinema in London
is the Rooftop Cinema Club. Just like Hot Tub Cinema, this club travels all throughout the city of London and sets up the coolest outdoor rooftop cinemas. They offer standard seating, sure, but it's exciting nonetheless! Especially considering that the films they show are often classics and favorites. Be it an 80s teen flick or a 90s comedy caper, you're sure to have a good time at the Rooftop Cinema Club. Just remember to bring along a blanket or two cause London is notorious for its evening chills.
Cinéma en Plein Air de la Villette in Paris
Every summer in Paris, the famous Parc de la Villette in the 19th arrondissement
hosts its own outdoor cinema. Called “Cinéma en Plein Air de la Villette,” the park sets up a big screen and lawn chairs on its well-manicured grass. come nightfall, locals and tourists alike fill the seats and enjoy a screening of various popular films. And since the park is quite massive (the third-biggest park in Paris), even more people set up their own nighttime picnics to catch the show too. It's a great way to hang out with friends and family in the French capital.
's Montjuïc Castle is a man-made marvel. With its grand architecture and old-world beauty, it's one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Catalan capital. And every summer, it also hosts Sala Montjuic, one of the best outdoor cinemas in Europe! Situated in the castle's beautiful gardens, Sala Montjuic puts forth the biggest movie event of the summer. So many people go here that the audience practically fills up the entire fortress. Perhaps what makes it popular is that watching a movie within a Medieval fortress is, in itself, pretty cinematic.
Amante Movie Night in Ibiza
From a famous Spanish city to a notorious Spanish island
, Amante Movie Night in Ibiza
is a definite must-see! You probably traveled to the Balearic Island to party and have a good time, right? Well, going to its famous outdoor cinema offers a nice change of pace. Here, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy quality entertainment. What's even better about it is that it upholds the island's tropical vibe. The Mediterranean Sea provides the perfect ambiance with its roaring waves and salty breezes, while the shimmering moonlight enhances the mood even further.
For this next one, let's go all the way to the charming city of Bologna in northern Italy. On the city's famous Piazza Maggiore, Cineteca di Bologna offers cinephiles the dreamiest experience yet. The film archive plays various classic movies on a big screen set up on the famous public square every summer. The films range from black and white Old Hollywood flicks to cult classics from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. It's pretty breathtaking getting to watch these amazing movies surrounded by the city's enchanting man-made marvels. Almost as if you're in a movie yourself!
Santorini's Cine Kamari is the ultimate outdoor cinema in Europe. Having started in 1987, it's become a summer tradition for those who are on the Greek Island
during summer. And in many ways, it's the modern and contemporary version of how the Greeks enjoyed theater back in ancient times. You may not watch a Greek tragedy when you get to Cine Kamari, but you'll still get to watch a film in a beautiful garden underneath the stars. It's one of the best ways to spend time in Santorini
, apart from the usual beach days and island exploring.
Locarno Film Festival in Lake Maggiore
Finally, there's the Locarno Film Festival, held every August in Lake Maggiore, Switzerland. With 8,000 seats on offer, it's the biggest outdoor cinema in Europe, possibly even in the entire world. But there's no need to worry! Whether you're at the very front row or at the farthest back, you'd still get to see the film. The screen is also among the biggest set up every summer. In fact, it's almost as big as an entire building! Though the festival is held in a public square in the city of Locarno, you'd hardly see what's behind the screen.
One of the best ways to spend summertime in Europe is to watch a movie in an outdoor cinema. Some of the open-air cinemas in Italy, Spain, France, Greece, and more are absolutely magical and captivating.