Best open-air cinemas in Switzerland
With the weather taking a pleasant turn, why not spend the evening watching a film in the great outdoors at an open-air cinema? In Switzerland, open-air cinemas can be found all over the country - not only in the centre of cities, but also in charming locations by lakes and rivers. Showing everything from family favourites and blockbusters to black-and-white classics and unique independent films, open-air cinemas on summer nights are a treat for all.
The best way to watch movies for the summer nights
In most of the major cities in Switzerland, there are open-air cinemas that can be visited in the summer months. Here are some of the ones we recommend:
Open-air cinemas in Zurich
There are an abundance of open-air cinemas that open over the summer in the bustling city of Zurich. Here are some of the popular ones:
In central Zurich, near the busy District 4 (Kreis 4), Kino Xenix creates carefully curated programmes. The cinema's open-air theatre is open on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays over the summer (and the bar on other days of the week as well!). They show English movies as well as German movies.
Film am See
The country's oldest open-air theatre is located under the redwood trees between the shore of Lake Zurich and the Rote Fabrik cultural centre. Film am See shows movies in the fresh summer air between July and August, and the variety of genres on offer makes it ideal for families with children. Seats are limited, however, so make sure to get your tickets in advance!
Bloom Summer Film Festival
The Bloom Summer Film Festival also takes place every August in the open air on Europaplatz, which is conveniently located very close to Zurich Main Station, making it very accessible via public transportation. The festival showcases a range of films, including both popular Hollywood films and other independent films. Most of the films will have subtitles in German and French.
Open-air cinemas in other Swiss cities
If you're not in Zurich, don't despair! Many local cinemas do independent screenings of movies outdoors over the summer, but there are also some companies that have venues across Switzerland.
Coop Open Air
The Coop Open Air Cinemas have 21 locations across Switzerland, including Aarau, Kreuzlingen, Lugano, Lucerne and Zug, that are open from July to September 2023.
Each cinema is in a unique location with its own special charm - by lakes, in the countryside, or next to historical monuments and sites across the country. Performances begin at dusk and continue in all kinds of weather, except for storms, so come prepared!
Another company that has a few open-air cinemas across Switzerland in the summer is Allianz Cinema. Between July 21 and August 21, 2023, they will be showing a plethora of films, covering a variety of genres.
The Basel location will be open from August 4 to 28, featuring animation, comedy, romance and drama films, and much more. There are also facilities on hand offering a variety of dishes to ensure no one goes hungry! Many of the movies will have German and French subtitles, and a few have subtitles in English as well.
At the Geneva location, the open-air cinema will be open from July 11 until September 4. A wide range of movies across a multitude of genres will be shown. The movies begin at 7.30pm and continue whatever the weather, except in the event of a storm. If you want to get down early, the restaurant is open from 6pm, providing delicious snacks and refreshing drinks.
There is also an Allianz Cinema in Zurich - the largest open-air cinema in the city - which takes place at Zurichhorn near China Garden. Food and drinks are available at the location, which is easily accessible via public transportation. The films start after sunset. Almost all the pictures have German and French subtitles, and any other languages are specified on the programme. The cinema runs from July 20 to August 20, 2023.
TCS Drive in Movies
The TCS Drive-in Movies offer an American twist to the open-air cinema. Drive-in movies became a massive hit in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s, but still remain popular to this day, allowing visitors to enjoy classic movies from the comfort of their own vehicles.
There are two locations for TCS Drive-in Movies in Switzerland, in Hinwil, Canton Zurich and Emmen, Canton Lucerne, and they are open in July and August. The movies begin around dusk, but it is worth getting to the cinema grounds early to get a good position and try some of the typical American dishes on offer. The movies continue in any weather.
Drive-in cinemas in incredible weather
Attending an open-air cinema or driving into a movie theatre is surely one of the best ways of spending a summer night. With these cinemas showcasing an assortment of genres and films in multiple different languages, you're sure to find a film to suit your taste.
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