Watch any movie set in Europe and it feels like a beautiful old building that is always just a stone’s throw away. Perhaps it’s kismet, then, that cinemas happen to be some of the most beautiful old buildings in Europe. Here are a few of our favorites.
Cinéma du Panthéon: Paris is home to an entire host of beautiful old theaters, but the Cinéma du Panthéon is just a bit more special than most. For over 100 years, the screen in the Panthéon has been operating daily without any interruptions, making it the oldest functioning movie theater in Paris.
The Panthéon is also inextricably linked to the Nouvelle Vague, or French New Wave, movement. One of its former owners, Pierre Braunberger, had “discovered” Nouvelle Vague icons like Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Pierre Melville and heavily promoted the movement. Today, the Panthéon regularly screens independent films.
Granada Cinema, Tooting / Gala Bingo Club, Tooting - The Granada Cinema is a luxurious art deco masterpiece built in 1931 in Tooting in London. In 1991, it was renamed the Gala Bingo Club, Tooting, and became the very first cinema to be preserved and given a Grade I listing in 2000.
The building’s current owners, Gala Bingo, have been ramping up their online bingo offerings in recent years, but they don’t seem to have any plans to let go of one of the most luxurious bingo halls in the UK anytime soon -- especially since it was officially recognized as an asset of community value last year.
Spazio Oberdan - Built towards the tail-end of the 18th century, the Spazio Oberdan in Milan’s Piazzo Oberdan lay in a dilapidated state for a number of years until it was renovated and reborn as a cultural center in 1999.
Nowadays it’s more than just a movie theater. Aside from showing art-house movies and film festivals, it also regularly features modern art and photo exhibits. The Spazio Oberdan also houses the offices of Milan’s provincial administration.
These are just a handful of the many breathtaking cinemas found all over Europe. Be sure to stop by when you’re visiting; it’ll be an experience you won’t forget.