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10 Essential Cinemas Around the World You May Want to Visit

20 May 2012 | Guest Posts, Other Lists | by David Zou

No matter you are a blockbuster lover or a Blu-ray junkie, you have to admit a fact that cinema is the ultimate place to go to watch a film. In this post, we introduce you 10 great cinemas around the world. In case you have a trip to these cities, don’t forget to pay visits to the magnificent cinemas below.


Secret Cinema, London


Add a touch of mystique to your weekend weekend theatre break in London with a visit to this monthly movie movement. Film and theme are kept covert until the day itself, but expect painstaking set reconstructions, live music, food stalls and actors on hand to recreate key scenes. Fusing film with live-action, you’ll be immersed in the world of the movie, created with keen attention to detail. Previous shows have included Blade Runner screened in a futuristic neon-spattered China Town and Bugsy Malone, complete with speakeasy vibe and custard-firing splurge guns!


Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop, Florida


Relive the nostalgia of the fifties and sixties with classic all-American drive-in movie experience. Florida is home to the largest drive-in theatre in the world, a 14-screen multiplex that doubles as the world’s largest flea market by day. Spend an afternoon scouring the stalls for a bargain or two before hitting a matinee screening of the latest release in the comfort of your own car.


Rooftop Cinema, Melbourne


Situated atop an art deco building on Swanston Street, this elevated urban theatre benefits from the backdrop of Melbourne’s scenic skyline. Chill out on the striped deckchairs as you take in a cult classic on a relaxed summer evening. Dedicated to a programme of quirky, kitsch and contemporary films, you can catch anything from Beetlejuice to Black Swan. The party continues after the show at the music venue Toff in the Town, located downstairs.


Civic Theatre, Auckland


Built in 1929 specifically for the ‘talkies’, this sumptuous cinema is one of only seven of its kind in the world. Famed for its flamboyant foyer, festooned with burnished Buddhas and Indian-inspired intricacies, this palatial picture-house has a main auditorium decorated with tall turrets, minarets, panther statues and a domed blue ceiling fashioned to replicate a sweeping sky-scape. To round off your glamorous evening, grab a post-show drink at the gilded Starks Cafe and Champagne bar.


Colosseum Kino, Oslo


Prepare to be blown away at the largest THX cinema in the world, offering movie magic accompanied by ear-shattering surround sound. Distinguished by its enormous dome and Roman columns, this state-of-the-art silver screen opened in 1928 and seats over 2,000 people. Don’t worry if you don’t speak Norwegian, films are normally screened in their original language, so you can enjoy the latest high-octane blockbuster with unimpeded clarity.


Cine de Chef, Seoul


The ultimate dinner and a movie, this premium playhouse offers gourmet Asian cuisine in a luxury cinema setting. This miniature movie-house seats just 30 people, and each luxurious lounger is worth over £5,000. Expect full-on VIP treatment from this five-star dining experience, as well as impeccable screening quality due to the world-class 11.1 channel speakers that surround the entire cinema, including in the ceiling and the floor.


IMAX, Sydney


Immerse yourself in movie mayhem at the world’s largest IMAX theatre in Darling Harbour, Sydney. At over 29m high, the super-colossal screen is as tall as an eight-storey building, and covers a whopping 1,015 square metres. Experience the powerful sound through the monstrous 15,000-watt digital speakers as you’re absorbed into the action with crystal clear vision ten times the size of ordinary film format.


Cine Thisio, Athens


Situated beneath the backdrop of the majestic Acropolis and the floodlit Parthenon, this is the oldest movie theatre in Athens, open during summer months. Watch the sun setting on a balmy evening over this magnificent monument before settling down to watch a new movie in this charming outdoor setting. As a tasty alternative to popcorn and fizzy drinks, be sure to buy a homemade sour cherry juice or glass of tsipouro accompanied by tasty local mezze, offered by the hospitable owner.


Raj Mandir, Jaipur


Known as the ‘Pink City’ on account of its pastel-hued exterior, this immense and iconic movie house is the number one Hindi cinema in India. Blending beautifully with the opulent palaces of Jaipur and the elaborate architecture of Rajasthan, the outer walls are adorned with asymmetrical shapes and curves, not to mention silver stars, which light up at night. Marvel at the lavish and luxuriant lobby, embellished with chandeliers and colour-changing lights, before enjoying a spot of Bollywood on the big screen.


4DX, Seoul


We return to South Korea’s capital for 4DX, billed as the first cinema of its kind in the world. Not for the faint-hearted, prepare for an action-packed picture show complete with intensely immersive effects. Each chair heaves, rolls and pitches in sync with the movie motion, plus explosions and storms are brought to life with environmental effects including strobe lights, fog, smells, water and wind. You’ll feel like you’re in the movie alongside your favourite characters in this supreme cinematic experience.

Written by Show and Stay, the UK’s leading provider for London theatre and hotel packages.

You turn, what’s the best cinema you’ve ever entered? What are the cinemas you know and dream of paying a visit to?


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  • Steven Flores

    Wow… I would totally use this as a primer for a trip around the world though I have been to Fort Lauderdale… well… at least it ain’t Miami which is a very dull place to go to.

    • David Zou

      Miami is dull? I thought the beach might be awesome there,but never had the chance to go there. I’d really like to try any drive-in cinema in my life,this is something I can never experience in China.

      • Steven Flores

        It may look beautiful and has nice beaches. Yet, it’s devoid of any real art that is out there. I find the people to be very annoying. I hate the way they drive. I hate their newspaper and their local film critic who doesn’t know shit. I just despise it. I haven’t been there in 9 years and I doubt it’s changed.

        • David Zou

          Got it,I may avoid going to Miami if I had the chance to visit America.

  • Bonjour Tristesse

    Some interesting ones here. I like the look of the Greek one. At the top of my list are the Cinèmathèque Française (Paris), Grand Théâtre Lumière (Cannes), the Berlinale Palast (Berlin), and the Sala Grande (Venice)

    • David Zou

      Yeah,I also love that one,it’s just like in an Angelopoulos film.Thanks for the additions,there should be a French cinema here!!

  • http://Website MMorse

    New York’s Ziegfeld theater should be on this list. It’s got history, it’s got class and style….Check out the Ziegfeld if you’re ever in NYC!

    • David Zou

      Thanks for the nice addition,Morse.It sounds fantastic,I will check it out if I’ve got the chance to visit NYC.

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