Prague, Czech Republic – Tired of always going to the same multiplex, taste-less and similar-looking cinema halls screening only the latest Hollywood blockbusters or Academy Awards nominees?
You’re in luck, for Prague has no shortage of lesser-known, independent and charm-filled little cinemas to offer you an alternative movie experience anytime of the week. Here’s a non-exhaustive list of the main ones where the Kafkadesk team enjoys going the most.
Definitely one of our personal favourites: Kino Pilotu is a lovely, hidden-away cinema located in the Prague 10 Vrsovice district, next to the famous Krymská street, home to the city’s bustling hipster culture. Even if you hang around there a lot, you might have passed it without noticing it.
With more than half a dozen screenings in its two cinema halls, Kino Pilotu offers everything from the latest foreign productions to home-made Czech movies, with a wide range of English-friendly movies as well and great offer for kids and families. A historic art-house in Prague that used to be operated since the first half of the 20th century by the Union of Czechoslovak Pilots (hence the name), Kino Pilotu was entirely restored in 2016.
Before or after your screening, don’t hesitate to have a drink in the cinema’s small bar and cafe, or try out the excellent choice of beers in the Bad Flash microbrewery located right in front of it – or, for that matter, any other place in Krymska.
Address: Donská 19 – Praha Vršovice
Located in Žižkov, Kino Aero is slightly more off from the city center than most of the other venues listed here, but nevertheless makes for a great starting point for a cinephile evening out. Set in the courtyard of a functionalist building, Kino Aero is also a historic gem, having operated since the early 1930s.
Its screenings are also incredibly varied, both in genre and geographical origin, and the cinema regularly takes part in all the movie and film festivals organized throughout the year in Prague and the Czech Republic, so be sure to follow them on social media to stay up to date with what’s happening there.
Address: Biskupcova 31 – Praha Žižkov
Anyone who lives or might have wandered in the Prague 7 district north of Letna Park probably know Bio Oko, an institution in its own right. One of the most popular places for young residents of the Holesovice, Letna and Bubenec districts and beyond, Bio Oko cinema is a can’t-miss venue for movie-lovers.
Many people also just head to there to enjoy a drink or some “finger food” at the cinema’s bar, or to take part in the occasional food festivals and other cultural events hosted on the cinema’s premises. As in most of the cinemas listed in this article, you have complete freedom to take your beer or other drink to enjoy inside the originally-furnished cinema halls.
Address: Františka Křížka 15 – Praha
The last one of the trilogy. As you might have realized, Kino Aero, Bio Oko and Světozor are all part of the same network and now have the same website.
Kino Světozor is located in the beating heart of Prague, right next to Wenceslas Square, in a small arcade off Vodičkova street and in front of the Lucerna Palace. As always, an underground little bar is the ideal place to meet up ahead of the movie or afterwards to discuss the film with your friends. If you’re looking to redecorate your room with great visuals from your favourite movies, you can also head to the small shop located right next to the box-office, which offers a wide range of new and vintage movie posters from the Czech or Czechoslovak era.
Quick tip: if you walk further down the arcade past Světozor, you’ll get to Frantiskanska garden, one of the best-kept secrets and hidden gardens in the heart of Prague.
Address: Vodičkova 41 – Nové Město
Located right next to the Florenc metro station and on the outskirts of the popular Karlín district, Kino Atlas is not as well-known as other venues mentioned here. It is, however, definitely worth your time, for its wide cinematic offer, beautiful interior and great evening atmosphere.
Located in another highly functionalist building dating back to the 1930s and which used to host a bank, Kino Atlas should absolutely make the top of your list if you’ve already scouted all of Prague’s other artsy venues.
Address: Sokolovská 1 – Praha Karlín
Famous for its breath-taking single cinema hall, Ponrepo is located right in the city centre, slightly off Narodni, in a street always bustling with activity in the evenings and during the week-end.
The absolute go-to destination for lovers of old movies, both classics and lesser-known little cinematic gems from the Czech Republic or elsewhere, Ponrepo is also the seat of the National Czech Film Archives. Screenings or not, it’s also an incredibly relaxing and laid-back place to have a quick bite or enjoy a coffee in the afternoon.
Address: Bartolomějská 11 – Staré Město
Edison Film Hub is the latest edition to Prague’s alternative cinema scene. Opened in June last year, the cinema is located on a quiet little square, close to Wenceslas Square and a few minutes away from the main railway station.
Located in a modern building, Edison Film Hub is a member of the Film Europe distribution network and is therefore a great place to discover movies from the far corners of Europe, sometimes with discussions and Q&As organized after the screenings. It also features a bar/cafe to have a drink and/or a great piece of cake before or after the screening.
Address: Jeruzalémská 2 – Nové Město
If you head to any of these cinemas, be sure to send us a message to tell us about your experience, or leave us a comment if there are any other venues you think should also make the cut!