No, we do not mean High German: we mean real foreign languages, such as French, Italian, Belgian or even Cantonese. In Munich, there are a number of cinemas with an international flair – here you can regularly watch films in their original, undubbed version. Exchange students can indulge in their homesickness and locals can improve their foreign language skills. Luckily, most films have German subtitles.
For the English-speaking population, the Cinema on Nymphenburger Straße has long since been the place to go, because it almost exclusively screens films in their original language. The programme definitely focuses on English language works. In addition, there are sneak previews, Sunday matinees and film events, for which fans come to the cinema dressed up in Star Wars or Lord of the Rings costumes. A real bonus: the cinema has many special offers. For example, during the Happy Hour (afternoons from Monday to Friday), every ticket is only 5.50 Euros. The cinema also puts on special Cinema Days and regular over-50s film afternoons. And it offers morning, children’s and students’ discounts.
Address: Nymphenburger Straße 31, 80335 Munich
At Studio Isabella, Wednesdays are dedicated to “Cine Español”. Here they show films from Spain or Latin America in their undubbed version. Partly with, partly without German subtitles. In addition, this Altschwabing cinema always screens at least one English, French or Italian film, also in the original language. From 31 July to 21 August 2013, Studio Isabella took part in the 61st Filmkunstwochen (film art weeks), as did many other arthouse cinemas in Munich. During this collaborative summer film festival, the best films of the year are traditionally screened.
Address: Neureutherstraße 29, 80799 Munich
The cinema Neue Arena lies at the heart of the Glockenbach district. Here, undubbed and subtitled English, French and Italian films are a firm part of the programme. By the way: in 2012, the cinema celebrated its 100th anniversary and was awarded the Kinoprogrammpreis by the city of Munich in 2011. The reason for this award was the cinema’s varied and sometimes daring programme coupled with its special, individual charm. An exclusive offer at Neue Arena: the two small cinema halls can be booked privately. They may not be large enough for big events, but are all the more perfect for intimate events in a nostalgic cinema setting. In addition to film projectors, the cinema is also equipped with modern digital technology so that files from servers, DVDs or other media can easily be played.
Address: Hans-Sachs-Str. 7, 80469 Munich
The Theatiner has a highly sophisticated programme – many connoisseurs even say it is the best arthouse cinema in Munich. The cinema operators set great store by international films. However, their greatest passion is French cinema. Sometimes as many as four French films are running simultaneously. But also English and other foreign language works are screened here. Mondays and Tuesdays are Cinema Days at the Theatiner. This means that tickets are available for as little as 5.50 Euros.
Address: Theatinerstraße 32, 80333 Munich
Until the year 1910, before the Museum Lichtspiele moved in, a variety theatre entertained the people here. It is due to this past that the cinema – incidentally, the second oldest in town – is so uniquely charming. Many current films are screened here in their original English language version. But the Museum Lichtspiele on Lilienstraße is famed for something else: cinema 2, furnished in a plushy rococo style, has been showing the “Rocky Horror Picture Show” for the past 30 years.
Address: Lilienstraße 2, 81669 Munich
The Werkstattkino, hidden in a backyard cellar on Frauenhofer Straße is as difficult to find as it is legendary. Once you have found your way down, you are instantly immersed into an alien, foreign language world. The cinema mainly shows film series – but always the exact opposite of mainstream. Here, you can enjoy anything from monster flicks to documentaries from rural Kazakhstan. All films are shown in their original language, from Cantonese over Kurdish down to Japanese. Literally in any language.
Address: Fraunhoferstraße 9, 80469 Munich
The programme of the Maxim cinema is made up of all kinds of experimental films, art films and documentaries. The owner, Sigi Daibler, who has been responsible for the sophisticated programme for the past 32 years, often chooses works that would never stand a chance elsewhere. The series “Wieder Sehen im MAXIM” is dedicated to such rare gems. Many films are screened in the original language. In addition to film, the Maxim is also dedicated to theatre. Sigi Daibler hires out his rooms to artists who are looking for a stage and practise rooms, thereby supporting the Munich cultural scene. Every second Thursday of the month, the group of artists Künstlerkreis Neuhausen-Nymphemburg meets in the foyer for a creative exchange of ideas. New members are always welcome. By the way: in 2012, the Maxim celebrated its 100th anniversary.
Address: Landshuter Allee 33, 80637 Munich
Retrospectives of certain directors, films that fit a special theme or foreign language films: at the Filmmuseum, the broad range of films is deliberately chosen from different cultures and eras. As a rule, all films are screened undubbed and subtitled – whether they are Swedish, Greek or African. Please note: the Filmmuseum takes a summer break between 4 July and 3 September 2014.
Address: St.-Jakobs-Platz 1, 80331 Munich
Belgian, English or French: the Atelier, between Sonnenstraße and Schwanthaler Straße, screens many undubbed films. The programme at the cinema on Sonnenhof, which opened in 1972, is extremely varied. After most screenings, people tend to gather in the cosy courtyard to discuss the film they have just seen over a glass of wine. A special at the Atelier is the so-called Mongay, Munich’s famous gay and lesbian screenings on Mondays.
Address: Sonnenstraße 12, 80331 Munich
The Mathäser Filmpalast is the largest cinema in Munich. It is a 14-screen multiplex, which predominantly shows blockbusters. However, one or two films per week are shown undubbed – due to the programme selection, these are always English language films.
Address: Bayerstraße 5, 80336 Munich