Film in Berlin

First a helpful note for non-German language cinema-goers: When consulting any movie listings, whether online or in print, always check for the notation:

  • OV or OF (original version or Originalfassung) or
  • OmU (original with subtitles) or
  • OmE (original with English subtitles in the case of foreign films).

    And if the film you're dying to see isn't showing at the moment, why not get it out on video ?

    Note of warning:
    OmU or OV can also refer to say a French or Mongolian movie with or without German subtitles so if you are not sure, all magazines listings have a few pages of capsule reviews, just in front of the listing pages, which give the original titles.

    For programme information about English-language films in Berlin, click here

    Cinema Culture

    Germany is said to have one of the largest cinema-going publics in the world and with the rate of growth since the fall of the Wall, the screen count here in Berlin has almost doubled, approaching some 250 screens in 92 cinemas. Here, like most anywhere, the bill of fare is largely dominated by Hollywood. Unfortunately for internationals and English speakers, Germany ranks closely after Italy in their dire need to see films in dubbed versions, but as with any fast and fixed rule, there are exceptions, particularly in a few major cities. Berlin in particular has traditionally been a center for art house type cinemas, called Program Kinos and there was a time when there was a lot of weird and interesting programming going on here.

    That time has largely passed, but if you look around you will still find some fun things going on-you just have to look a little harder. And while a few of the old haunts have bitten the dust, the count of theaters showing English language films on a regular basis has actually increased. One thing this town is full of is easy-to-find movie listings, either on the web or in print. If you speak German, try TIP Magazine's Online Listing. In the search fields, just enter Datum (date), Uhrzeit (time), Bezirk (district), to get a listing of films. Watch for OmU and OVs, as explained above.
    For programme information about English-language films in Berlin, click here.

    In print, the best way to find complete listings of what´s showing is to duck into any cafe and pick up a reading copy of either of the two city magazines, Tip or Zitty, which list all events and give you a daily run down of all the movie theaters. Also available in most cafes is a free magazine called (030) which you can take away with you if you are too cheap to actually buy a copy of one of the above. Beware though, although it comes out every two weeks, it only has film listings for the first week with an update coming out on the second week, so check the date.

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