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Foreign language cinema in Munich

From Cantonese to English: These screening venues in Munich show films in their original language.

We don’t mean High German: We actually talk about real foreign languages like French, Italian, Belgian or even Cantonese. There are many cinemas with international flair in Munich where films are shown in their original versions on a regular basis. The following places are not only meant for exchange students who miss their homes desperately but also for Munich residents who would like to enhance their foreign language skills. Thank God most of the movies have German subtitles. 




As it’s one of the few cinemas in Munich that almost exclusively shows movies in their original versions, Cinema in Nymphenburger Straße is already an institution among the English speaking population. It chiefly offers a wide range of English-language films without annoying subtitles. Additionally, there are sneak previews, Sunday matinées and film events where fans of “Star Wars” or “Lord of the Rings” dress up in costumes for the screenings. 


Address: Nymphenburger Straße 31, 80335 Munich / Website:


Studio Isabella


Every Wednesday, the series „Cine Español“ is hosted at Studio Isabella. During this event, films from Spain or Latin America are shown in their original versions – sometimes with – sometimes without German subtitles. Furthermore, the small neighbourhood theatre in the borough of Altschwabing always screens at least one English, French or Italian film which is of course also shown in its original language. 


Address: Neureutherstraße 29, 80799 Munich / Website:


Neues Arena

Neues Arena is based smack-bang in the middle of Glockenbachviertel . English, French and Spanish original versions with subtitles are part of the programme here. In 2012, the cinema celebrated its centenarian anniversary and in 2011, it won the cinema programme award in Munich. The reason the cinema received this prize is its multifaceted and partly courageous programme combined with a very special individual charm.


Adress: Hans-Sachs-Str. 7, 80469 / Website:




The programme of Theatiner is also very sophisticated. To many cineastes, it’s even the best cinema programme in town. The operators set a high value on international cinema and are especially committed to French treasures of film. Although the theatre shows up to four French movies at the same time, there are also films in English and other foreign language that flicker on the big screen. 


Address: Theatinerstrasse 32, 80333 Munich / Website: 


Museum Lichtspiele


Until 1920, a variety show theatre had been located in the halls of Museum Lichtspiele. It’s not only because of that past that the second oldest cinema in town has such a special charm. This old style theatre screens numerous current films in their original English versions. But it’s something else that makes the cinema in Lilienstraße famous beyond the city limits: In cinema hall 2, which is decorated in a kitschy Rococo style, “Rocky Horror Picture Show” has been shown for more than 30 years now. 


Address: Lilienstraße 2, 81669 Munich / Website:




Hidden in a backyard cellar in Fraunhofer Straße, Werkstattkino is as legendary as it is hard to find. Once you made it downstairs, you immediately immerse yourself in strange and foreign-language worlds. The cinema predominantly presents film series that are always the exact opposite of mainstream commercial cinema – whether it’s monster movies or documentaries from Kasachstan hinterland. All films are shown in their original versions. From Cantonese to Kurdish and Japanese – this screening venue offers almost every possible language.


Address: Fraunhoferstraße 9, 80469 Munich / Website: 




The programme of Maxim includes films that are very experimental like art-house films and documentaries. The operator Sigfried Daiber often opts for movies that wouldn’t have made it anywhere else. A wide range of films is shown in their original versions. Like Neues Arena, Maxim celebrated its centenarian anniversary in 2012. 

Address: Landshuter Allee 33, 80637 Munich / Website: 



Whether it’s retrospectives from directors or a series of topics and countries – Filmmuseum deliberately shows very different films from very different cultures and time epochs. As a matter of principle, all movies are subtitled and played in their original versions – it doesn’t matter if it’s Swedish, Greek or African. 


Address: St.-Jakobs-Platz 1, 80331 Munich / Website:




Whether it’s Belgian, English or French – Atelier between Sonnenstraße and Schwanthaler Straße screens a wide range of films in their original versions. The selection depends on the particular cinema programme. The cinema in the so-called Sonnenhof opened its gates to the visitors in 1972. After a screening, one can enjoy a glass of wine while discussing a film in the comfortable atrium.


Address: Sonnenstrasse 12, 80331 Munich / Website: 




Mathäser Filmpalast is the biggest cinema in Munich and predominantly shows mainstream releases in more than 14 multiplex cinema halls. But there are also one or two films per week that are offered in their original versions. Because of the viewing choice, only English speaking movies are screened. 


Address: Bayerstraße 5, 80336 Munich / Website: 

(Pictures: Flickr / m4tik)