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Watching Movies in their Original Language

Updated: Feb 8, 2022

I usually write about tours, exhibitions, books, exploration... But sometimes it is nice just to sit back and watch a movie! Most movies run on big screen dubbed, but there are still a few cinemas catering to expats' taste. Here are three places you might want to head to for a movie night - from chic to casual.

Khudozhestvenny Art Cinema / Художественный

Address: Arbatskaya square 14 1 min from metro Arbatskaya

In 1909 Khudozhestvenny (Khu-do-zhe-stve-nny) opened as one of the first movie theaters not only in Russia, but in the world. Since then it has always been leading the technological race: the first sound movie in Russia was shown here, as well as the first color film. Last year it reopened after a long restoration - and just look at these interiors!

These days it is perhaps the only cinema which deserves dressing up for the visit.

Its Big Hall has a capacity of 474 seats and looks like a scaled down Bolshoi Theatre! Tickets start from 550 RUB.

Chamber Hall has only 21 seats. It was designed to watch a movie in heaven-like comfort - but for 5000 RUB per person.

There are also two Small Halls or 46 seats each.

In Khudozhestvenny you can watch Oscar nominees, festival winners or world classics in their original language and drink a glass or two in a glossy bar afterwards - it is open until 1.30 am.

Here is this week's schedule.

2. Pioneer

Kutuzovsky Avenue 21

The Pioneer occupies the ground floor of a 1950s residential building on Kutuzovsky avenue. It has been in operation for over 50 years with a short break for renovation after which it reopened as one of a few "no pop-corn" movie theaters with rare festival films and old classics on the screen. Pop-corn indeed is not sold here, and eating in the movie hall is not welcome. In Pioneer one can watch the newest festival nominees, enjoy old classics - all in the original language with Russian subs, except for kids' shows which are dubbed.

The entrance hall still preserves the 1950s chic the entire Kutuzovsky was once famous for. The movie halls (there are two of 84 seats each) were fully modernized in 2009 and are very comfortable: you can enjoy enough of personal space without a feeling of being tightly packed in a tiny box.

Morning and daytime tickets during the week are unbelievably cheap.

The only downside of Pioneer is that it is not very convenient to reach it by public transport. Kutuzovsky 21 is between Kievskaya, Studencheskaya and Kutuzovskaya and is close to none of them. Parking is also complicated like everywhere on Kutuzovsky.

3. 5 Zvezd / 5 звёзд on Novokuznetskaya

Bolshoy Ovchinnikovsky lane 16

Arkadia Mall

5 Zvezd is a chain of movie theaters, three of which are in Moscow. But the branch on Novokuznetskaya shows movies in the original language more often than the others.

The movie theater is in Arkadia shopping mall, less than 5 minutes walk from Novokuznetskaya station. The mall itself is quiet and has no bustle which is often typical for this kind of place. After the movie you can walk along the embankment or find a place for a drink or dinner on the lively Pyatnitskaya street.

Not every movie is shown in the original language, just some of them. To check, look for this line in their schedule:

на языке оригинала с русскими субтитрами

4. Occasionally movies in English, French, German and other languages run in some other cinemas as well. To make sure you don't miss any you would like to watch check The website is only in Russian as it was designed for the local learners of foreign languages. But once you got familiar with it, with help of automatic translation or a teacher, planning a movie night will become easier.

You can see films grouped by the movie theaters they run in or by title.

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