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Top 12 open-air cinemas in the Netherlands

Top 12 open-air cinemas in the Netherlands

Top 12 open-air cinemas in the Netherlands

Outdoor cinemas are popping up left, right and centre in the Netherlands, and summer nights are the perfect time to enjoy them. A palace garden, a beach, an underpass, a rooftop terrace... outdoor cinemas can potentially operate anywhere! From film festivals to outdoor movie series offered by arthouse cinemas and cultural centres, you’ll find many shapes and forms of open-air cinemas in the Netherlands.

From thought-provoking documentaries to cheesy rom-coms, there’s something for everyone. Open-air cinema season runs right up until September, so there's no need to feel the FOMO if you plan on being away for the summer!

Bijlmerbios open-air cinema AmsterdamBijlmerbios photo by Hans Mooren

Popular open-air cinemas in the Netherlands

Here are some of the most popular open-air cinemas in the Netherlands this summer. Don’t forget your picnic basket!

June-September

Take a look at these open-air cinemas that run throughout the months of June, July and August - and in some cases, September.

Films with a View | Sun Screenings at Pllek, Amsterdam

Every Tuesday evening from June to September, films are shown at Pllek, the outdoor urban beach bar in Amsterdam. All films are either in English or in their original language with English subtitles. Films begin at dusk, so keep an eye on the website for the exact times. There’s no need to book a seat, but there’s a small fee to rent headphones.

The weather is taken into account and it is decided each Tuesday morning whether the film screening will go ahead that evening, so keeping an eye on the Films with a View Facebook event page for updates is essential.

PLLEK Films with a View Sun Screenings outdoor cinema

Rooftop Movie Nights, Amsterdam

There’s nothing like combining a night at the movies with breathtaking panoramic city views from the top of a roof terrace. Rooftop Movie Nights runs from June until the end of August, showing movies on different rooftops in Amsterdam, with comfy beanbags to make you feel at home! Tickets start at 15,52 euros.

Locations include the Ramada Hotel for the upcoming films and the popular Floor17.

Rooftop Cinema at Pathé Leidsche Rijn, Utrecht

At the Pathé Leidsche Rijn Rooftop Cinema cinema in Utrecht, you can watch the latest films under the stars! Treat yourself to the usual trappings of cinema visits: perhaps a massive vat of popcorn, a humongous bag of M&Ms and whatever else you fancy! This summer, choose from Aladdin, The Lion King, Booksmart, Men in Black: International, Spiderman: Far From Home and more!

August

August is the month of the most prolific outdoor movie events in Dutch cities. Here are the outdoor cinemas showing films in August:

World Cinema Amsterdam

World Cinema Amsterdam is an annual film festival, focusing on movies from Latin America, the Caribbean Islands, Asia and Africa. Showcasing a wealth of independent films from these countries, it is a special kind of film festival - not to be missed. And, since the open-air part of the event is free, there's absolutely no excuse not to go!

Taking place from August 14-25, film premieres being shown at De Balie cinema and the Rialto cinema, World Cinema Amsterdam is famous for its open-air screenings at Marie Heinekenplein, Tropen Courtyard at Oosterpark and Vondelpark Open Air Theatre.

Open-air world cinema Amsterdam Marie Heinekenplein

Pleinbioscoop Rotterdam

Pleinbioscoop Rotterdam is the ultimate urban outdoor cinema, going strong since 1987. For 19 summer nights in August, Pleinbioscoop Rotterdam gathers crowds of movie-lovers at Museum Park in the heart of the city. You can rent a chair for a euro or bring your own chair, beanbag or rug for free. So, if you’re in Rotterdam between August 7-25, you’d be crazy to miss this!

Pluk de Nacht, Amsterdam & Utrecht

Pluk de Nacht outdoor film festival is the biggest film festival that operates solely outdoors. It doesn't just focus on one genre or film-style in particular, but rather, a mix of anything from romantic comedies and cult classics to blockbuster action and independent documentaries. Attend Pluk de Nacht (Seize the Night) in two Dutch cities: from July 31-August 4 in Utrecht and from August 14-25 in Amsterdam.

Humanity House Open Air Cinema, The Hague

Each year Humanity House Open Air Cinema in The Hague shows five favourites from previous editions of the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA). Every Thursday night in August at 9.30pm, a documentary is shown on the big screen on their outdoor terrace, complete with tiered seating.

Drinks and snacks are available on the terrace before the film begins. If the weather takes a turn for the worse, the films can easily be shown in the Geneve Hall.  

Humanity House open-air cinema Amsterdam

Cinema Soestdijk, Palace Soestdijk

At the former palace of the Dutch Royal Family, you can watch films in the luscious palace gardens during August and September, organised by Soestdijk Palace and Nederlands Film Festival. The palace was home to Queen Juliana and her husband Prince Bernhard for over six decades and now it's open to the public as a cultural melting-pot.

August 29-31 and September 5-6 are the nights of the Cinema Soestdijk. Tickets begin at 17,50 euros. It may sound a little expensive at first, but when you take into account the extra special surroundings, it’s well worth it!

Cinema Soestdijk outdoor cinema at Soestdijk Palace

Bijlmerbios, Amsterdam

Ever since 2015, Bijlmerbios has been attracting crowds to watch films down under Kraaiennest metro station. For three evenings in August, the usually mundane metro station underpass is turned into a giant living room where hundreds of people enjoy films together.

Bijlmerbios was voted as one of the most special open-air cinemas in the world by American Express Essentials. This year, you'll find films on the big screen at Bijlmerbios on August 30-31 and on September 1.

Bijlmerbios open air cinema Amsterdam

September

The days may be getting shorter, but that doesn't mean that outdoor cinema season is over just yet. Catch a movie at these open-air cinemas operating in September:

On the Roof Film Festival, Amsterdam

Climb up on the roof of VU University Amsterdam for On the Roof Film Festival. From September 4-7, each film typically begins at 8.45pm, but the roof opens at 5pm so visitors can go and have a drink, some bites and enjoy the view before the film begins.

All the films are ones that have been shown at previous editions of World Cinema Amsterdam, the festival that takes viewers to Latin America, Asia and Africa. The festival is run by the university, in partnership with the Griffioen Cultural Centre and the Rialto Cinema.

West Beach Film Festival, Amsterdam

West Beach Film Festival is a free open-air cinema, showing films for 11 consecutive days in Amsterdam’s New West neighbourhood. From September 12-22, you can enjoy a film for free on the waterfront at Sloterstrand. Get there easily via public transportation: you can take tram 7, 13 or 14; or bus 69.

As well as films, there’s also music, activities for children and snacks from food trucks. There’s no need to book, seats are on a first-come-first-served basis, so don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy this great night out at the movies!

Metro Movies

This special urban film festival takes place in surprising locations around Amsterdam. This year, Metro Movies takes place from September 20-22 and the venue is the same as last year - the Gaasperdammer tunnel. Traffic will drive through the tunnel from 2020, so now's the time to enjoy it as an offbeat, temporary venue! 

As well as movies being projected onto a big screen inside a soon-to-be-used tunnel, there'll also be debates, music, art and other crossover events related to the metropolis of Amsterdam.

Enjoy outdoor cinema this summer

You'll be spoiled for choice this summer, what with so many outdoor cinema options. Whether you like urban cinemas, a trip to the palace, a chilled beach or simply a decent open-air film experience regardless of the location,  you're in for a treat! 

And if you miss out, don't worry - the Netherlands has plenty of cinemas and movie theatres that you can attend at any time of year, whatever the weather!

Humanity House outdoor cinema The Hague

Rachel Deloughry

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Rachel Deloughry

Rachel is a writer, editor and digital content creator, passionate about the arts, culture and lifestyle.

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