Raised in Massachusetts. University years in New York City. Graduate school in Utrecht. Amsterdammer...
Outdoor cinema & film screenings in Amsterdam01 August 2014, by Benjamin Garstka
As we enter the dog days of our Dutch summer, the beautiful balmy evenings should surely be put to good use.
Thankfully, many organisations have embraced the demand to be outdoors during the tropical (or possibly autumnal) nights and have been brainstorming new activities to engage even the most stubborn homebodies.
One of the emerging trends is that of outdoor cinema. Especially in Amsterdam, there are a slew of pop-up screens, roof-top theatres and full on festivals that set up silver screens under the stars.
Whether you’re a fan of indie flicks, looking for a laugh at a so-bad-it’s-good romantic comedy, curious about future Bollywood classics or in the mood for a Hollywood blockbuster, the offerings in the world of open air cinema are rapidly growing in the Dutch capital.
Ditch the fake air-conditioning and stale popcorn for an impromptu screening at one of these venues or festivals and savour the last sweet nights of summer!
Open-air film festivals in Amsterdam
These festivals will be taking outdoor cinema to the next level with multiple shows, large screens and ample seating!
- Dates: August 6-16
- Location: Stenen Hoofd, Westerdoksdijk
One of the largest outdoor film festivals, Pluk de Nacht has been a pioneer of moving the big screen outdoors.
Over the years, the festival's offerings have expanded to art installations, workshops and debates in addition to their selection of major motion pictures, animations, shorts and documentaries. Being the trailblazers that they are, they will also be hosting editions in Arnhem and Utrecht later this summer.
- Dates: August 8-24
- Location: Marie Heinekenplein & Vondelpark
Focusing on films from Latin America, Asia and Africa, World Cinema Amsterdam always has something interesting in store for audiences in the Netherlands.
Whether it be films tackling social taboos or stories of love and friendship, the festival is a valuable platform for movies that may not have made it to Europe otherwise. An annual fan-favourite, World Cinema Amsterdam hosts an open-air programme completely for free. This year’s films will be from Mexico, Uruguay and Kenya!
- Dates: September 4-11
- Location: Sloterplasbad, President Allendelaan 3
At the edge of the Sloterplasbad in burgeoning New West, one of the most beautiful outdoor cinema festivals will be taking place over the course of four days in September.
Unique to the Westbeach Festival is their variety in films being screened which includes an exciting mix of classics, recent favourites and a large group of final projects from the Filmacademie.
Cinema with a beautiful backdrop
This mix of outdoor screenings features locations that are as gorgeous as the films!
- Dates: Tuesdays in August
- Location: Pllek, TT Neveritaweg 59
Pllek puts its top terrace to use during the summer months by hosting a series of films on their sandy urban beach. Facing the IJ with the low glow of boat lights in the back and a fire to the left, few places could be more romantic to catch a flick.
- Dates: Thurs-Fri (Check site for agenda)
- Location: Floor 17, Staalmeesterslaan 410
Rooftop Movie Nights have found a steady location at the top of the Ramada Apollo Hotel in Floor 17. Although the ticket price is a bit steep (17,50 per screening), the experience is very special as the seating is limited to avoid crowding, the view is spectacular and the movie is usually a classic Hollywood hit!
- Dates: September 1-5
- Location: Roof of the VU, De Boelelaan 1105
An offshoot of World Cinema Amsterdam, the festival continues on the roof of the Vrij Universiteit with five nights of additional films. Enjoy an unparalleled view over Amsterdam while watching some of the most engaging films from World Cinema with special introductions by guest speakers and interviews with academics.
Specialty screenings outdoors
Among the multitude of outdoor cinema, these venues and events have chosen to focus on a special genre or topic, including Dutch classics and Bollywood hits!
- Dates: Saturdays from July 26-August 30
- Location: Pazzanistraat 4, Westergasfabriek
Every Saturday until the end of August, Ketelhuis in the Westergasfabriek will be giving you the perfect opportunity to practice your Nederlands by hosting a series of Dutch language favourites. Films will include Alles is liefde, Leef!, Ober and others. A big benefit: entry is free!
- Dates: August 14-17
- Location: Hoekenrode/Arena Bijmerstation
Just outside the entry of the train station, the Bijlmerbios transforms a normally boring square into a pop-up theatre for four days in August. Screenings will include 20 Feet from Stardom, a 2013 documentary about legendary back-up singers, and It’s Us/Ni Si Si, a 2013 film exploring the 2007 post-election violence in Kenya.
- Dates: September 5-6
- Location: Oosterpark
Set in the greenery of Oosterpark, Bollywood at the Park spices up the outdoor film scene and is an opportunity to expand your cinematic palette. Full of song, dance and colour, these films will reveal why Bollywood is more than just a portmanteau!