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Summer and the Silver Screen: Moscow’s 7 Best Open-Air Cinemas

For those who don’t want to sit in a dark cinema, the summer doesn’t mean taking a break from films

Fili/Instagram

For those who don’t want to sit in a dark cinema, the summer doesn’t mean taking a break from films. Moscow has plenty of open-air cinemas showing new releases, festival hits and classics. Here’s our pick of the best.

Fili Park

Cafe and cinema all in one 

Feeling Good in Fili Park is more than just a movie theater: It’s also a cafe and English club. In the daytime, Russians and other non-native speakers can drop by to practice their English, and in the evening the cafe is transformed into a movie theater. However, besides films, Feeling Good also screens sports events. On June 10 the cinema will show a series of short films shot in the Caucasus by French filmmaker Vincent Moon. 

Pioner in Gorky Park Gorky Park/Facebook

Gorky Park 

Blockbusters under the open skies 

Pioner in Gorky Park was the first of the new generation of summer theaters that sprang up during the renovation of Moscow’s parks. Its wooden steps have already become iconic. There are usually two screenings every evening, around 10 p.m. and at midnight. The tickets don’t have seats assigned, so the earlier you come, the better. Pioner in Gorky Park mostly shows current blockbusters: This week it’s “The Mummy” and “Wonder Woman.” While the sun is still out, you can attend public lectures, including talks on journalism by the Higher School of Economics. 

Cinema in Hermitage Garden Hermitage/Instagram

Hermitage Garden 

Beanbags and headphones 

One of Moscow’s most beloved parks isn’t missing out on the action, and movie fans can enjoy evening film screenings all summer in the intimate surroundings of the Hermitage Garden, bang in the middle of downtown Moscow. Sit down right on the lawn and enjoy new and recent films, as well as festival hits, shorts and animations, all projected onto a large inflatable screen. The Art group CoolConnections (who also organize film festivals like Amfest and the British Film Festival) has also come up with a great way of enjoying the movies in comfort without disturbing other people in the garden. When you buy a ticket for a screening, you’ll also be given a beanbag and a pair of headphones. You’ll need to leave a deposit of 1,000 rubles ($18) or your passport. A ticket costs 350 rubles, 250 rubles for students.

Garage Screen Garage Museum of Contemporary Art

Garage Screen 

Festival films, music and art-house movies 

The Garage Museum of Contemporary Art has built an open-air stage right in front of the museum in Gorky Park for its summer film program entitled “Garage Screen.” Just a couple of hundred meters away from the Pioner stage, the films here are quite different. Some of the screenings are organized in collaboration with Moscow’s major festivals and institutions, like the Beat Film Festival, whose program was shown at the launch. Right now you can watch music videos of contemporary Congolese musicians and bands, as well as a retrospective of French New Wave director Eric Rohmer. All the films at Garage Screen will be shown in the original language with Russian subtitles.

Bauman Garden Bauman Garden/Instagram

Bauman Garden 

Movies on a 1920s stage 

The movie theater at the Bauman Garden (Baumansky Sad) between the Krasniye Vorota and Kurskaya metro stations has more of a neighborhood feel. The 1920s concert stage, in the shape of a shell, is one of the park’s highlights. Screenings are on Friday nights at 9 p.m and are free. In June, four comedies from the age of silent movies, all made from 1921 to 1928 will be screened: Charlie Chaplin’s “Gold Fever,” “The Cameraman” with Buster Keaton, Max Linder’s “Seven Years Bad Luck” and “Safety Last!” with Harold Lloyd.

Sokolniki Pioner-cinema.ru

Sokolniki Park

Cinema in one of Moscow’s biggest parks 

Like its sister cinema in Gorky Park, Pioner in Sokolniki offers seating on tiers of wooden steps, and just like its city-center namesake, it offers two screenings daily, at 9:45 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. It’s not exactly in the center of town, but you’re likely to have more space here. This weekend, Alexander Zvyagintsev’s new movie “Loveless” is being screened n June 9 in the early seance, and on June 10 in the late seance. Catch Russian-Armenian director Karen Shakhnazarov’s new version of “Anna Karenina” in the other respective slot on the same dates.

Muzeon Muzeon/Facebook

Muzeon 

Open-air screenings under a roof 

The open-air movie theater at Muzeon is different from all the others in the city in one key respect: It has a roof, meaning you don’t need to bring an umbrella and there’s no chance of screenings being canceled. Alongside film festivals (it was one of the key venues for the recent Beat Film Festival) and other screenings, Muzeon’s open-air movie theater also hosts meetings with directors and actors. The cinema seats 300 and screenings take place from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. every day of the week. 

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