Vienna has more English-language cinemas than many British and US cities (I made that fact up, but it feels plausible).
If you do want to catch the latest Hollywood blockbuster or arthouse release, you should have few problems.
- Many movie theatres specialise entirely in English-language films
- Look out for the abbreviations OV, OmU or OmdU (means shown in the original language version)
- See also:
The international cinema scene
The large number of screens showing films without dubbing is only partly due to Vienna’s large international community and visiting tourists.
Many young Austrians, in particular, want to watch films in English; partly to improve their language skills and partly because their English is often good enough for them to enjoy the movie as it was intended.
As a result, even “local” German-language cinemas may have the occasional showing in English. However, several places specialise in original-language film.
For popular, mainstream movies, try these English cinemas:
The Haydn Kino
(The cinema we go to most)
This is where we go to watch the latest films. The Haydn sits on one of the main shopping streets, close to the Haydn monument. Reach it easily on the U3 subway line. The area is full of restaurants and bars (and even a McDonald’s).
The Haydn also screens occasional live performances of ballet, opera and theatre from the UK. La Traviata anyone? And it often has special screenings, such as Love Actually at Christmas, a Harry Potter revival or showings of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Address: Mariahilfer Straße 57, 1060 Vienna | Website
(Conveniently located in the very centre of town)
Part of the Cineplexx chain and the most central of the English cinemas, slap bang in the middle of the old town between the famous Ankeruhr and Judenplatz (which has the Jewish Museum and Holocaust Memorial).
Address: Schultergasse 5, 1010 Vienna | Website
The Burg Kino
(Home to showings of The Third Man)
Another central one, close to the grand old Kunsthistorisches Museum. This cinema also does occasional specials, such as Austrian and international films with English subtitles or movie and discussion nights.
Most importantly, the Burg shows The Third Man every week.
This 1949 Oscar-winning movie based (and filmed) in Vienna is worth seeing for the locations alone. My wife assures me they didn’t have to build any sets for the war-torn outdoor shots: they just filmed the reality of the post-WWII city.
Address: Opernring 19, 1010 Vienna | Website
Other English-language cinemas
For less mainstream English-language movies, try these. The first three are particularly central, being close to (or on) the Ring boulevard that surrounds the old town:
- Votiv Kino (often participates in film festivals so look out for special showings)
- Währingerstarsse 12 (9th district) | Website
- De France
- Schottenring 5 (1st district) | Website (shared with the Votiv Kino)
- Gartenbaukino (possibly the most prestigious address)
- Parkring 12 (1st district) | Website
- Filmcasino (another film festival favourite)
- Margaretenstraße 78 (5th district) | Website
- Margaretenstraße 24 (4th district)| Website
- Top Kino
- Rahlgasse 1 (6th district) | Website
Vienna also hosts various international film festivals and film events, many featuring films in English (with subtitles) or films in other languages with English subtitles. I have a list here.
The German for cinema is Kino. As mentioned earlier, some local cinemas also have the occasional showing in English. If you’re browsing listings in a paper or outside a movie theater, look out for these abbreviations:
- OV: Originalversion – original version. This means it’s shown in the original language the film was made in
- OmU: Original mit Untertitel – original with subtitles. So the same as OV, but showings feature subtitles (usually meaning subtitles in German)
- OmdU: Original mit deutschem Untertitel. As OmU but making it very clear the film’s subtitles are in German
- OmeU: Original mit englischem Untertitel – original with English subtitles. Again, the same as OV but subtitles are in English
(A movie’s original language may, of course, be something other than English.)
Enjoy your popcorn.
P.S. For more English-language culture, note that opera houses, theatres, etc. in Vienna often now have English subtitles either above the stage, available through an app, or appearing on a small screen at your seat.