Moscow has its fill of cinemas–in fact, it feels like you can find one on every corner. But most of them can offer no more than current Hollywood blockbusters, another (among countless) Russian comedy, a bucket of popcorn and a 3D option, used as a sort of symbol of hi-tech capabilities….
At the same time, there are other screens in Moscow, those that are rather unusual, meeting the requirements of staunch aesthetes and art-house admirers. Places where you won’t be offered a large cup of cola before the show, but a warm cup of coffee instead. Of course, there are few of them. And to Moskvaer’s taste–even less…
Pioneer is undoubtedly the favorite among progressive Moscow youngsters. It is perfect in its unordinary film repertoire, its decision to abandon popcorn in favor of fruit-and-nuts cups and its attitude towards retrospectives.
In the past few years, Pioneer has organized retrospectives of Bela Tarr and Seijun Suzuki, Paul Verhoeven and Alfred Hitchcock, Alexei German and Alexei Balabanov, among others. It screens undistributed Russian art-films and hosts theatrical premieres of artistic TV series. It has screened Breaking Bad, The Big Bang Theory and South Park. Pioneer‘s lineup always offers the best of contemporary cinema: from films of Michael Haneke and Lars von Trier to unconventional mainstream and innovative blockbusters.
Afisha calls Pioneer the most respectable cinema theater in the city, and I probably agree with that. So, if I need to take a foreign Moscow visitor to the cinema and still keep his good impression of modern Moscow, I will definitely choose Pioneer.
Ticket Price: 100 – 600 rubles
Address: Kutuzovsky Prospekt 21
If Pioneer is the favorite theater among Moscow hipsters, then Fitil is the choice for the city beau monde representatives. It’s a place where the atmosphere leads you to take a glass of brandy at the bar instead of a cup of coffee… Very theatrical!
Fitil often holds previews of new films. Foreign films are in the original language with subtitles.
Ticket Price: 300 – 600 rubles
Address: Frunzenskaya embankment, 12
Rolan is a less trendy and perhaps less pretentious cinema in comparison to the ones listed above. It has everything necessary for a comfortable viewing, and most importantly–a good repertoire, which consists mostly of limited-release movies–Festival works and other pieces of arthouse cinema. Most of them are shown in their original languages.
Ticket Price: 140 – 450 rubles
Address: Chistoprudny Boulevard, d. 12A
Fakel is one of the oldest and by far one of the few one-room art house cinemas in Moscow. It shows films in their original language with Russian subtitles.
Fakel offers alternative cinema, experimental works, and holds moviegoers meetings often. It also has its own psychological film club called At Jung’s, philosophical film club called At Hegel’s, fairytale film club called At Propp’s and–an absolutely fantastic initiative–a Cinema Club for Misanthropes (!), where you can not only watch a good movie, but also discuss the movie, and all the craziness in the world along with it in the spirit of “WTF?“, while having a coffee with chocolates.
Ticket price: 100 – 300 rubles
Address: Enthusiasts Highway 15/16
35MM is another one of the oldest art-house pads in Moscow, located in the building of the Central House of Entrepreneurs. It’s a popular place for filmmakers and theater people, which I think is largely thanks to a very diversified repertoire. Here you can watch real cinematographic masterpieces as well as the utterly undistinguished European thrash. All of them, as well as all new films (which are also included in the schedule) are shown only in their original languages with subtitles.
Ticket price: 250 – 600 rubles
Address: Str. Pokrovka 47/24