We all love movies, don’t we? And most of us wouldn’t mind going several times a week. But hey, who can afford it given the ticket prices which are always on the rise? Regular tickets would cost something around 30 to 45 pounds, that’s in case it’s not IMAX, VIP, or one with special comfy chairs, adding to that rental or buying of 3D Glasses -if applicable-, a parking or an Uber fee, a sayes fee, pop corn, soda, and snacks. And if you are going with your partner -unless you’re the girl- 2elbes, and double the price.
Knowing that our wallets badly need to breathe a big sigh of relief, we have put together a list of 6 places around Cairo where you can enjoy movie screenings for free, or with a minimal fee, not only that, but you will get to meet with a great community of likely-minded people, watching movies that most probably aren’t shown anywhere else, supporting home-grown, regional, and international -downlooked at- talents.
Photo courtesy: U.S. Embassy, Jakarta
In 2014, Misr International Films (Youssef Shahine) has launched Egypt’s first art-house cinema, located in Downtown’s Cinema Odeon. The art-house screens movies that aren’t screened in cinemas, aiming to showcase an alternative selection of films from different parts of the world, including short films, documentaries, feature films and experimental work, focusing on local independent movies, to encourage young Egyptians, and Arab filmmakers to promote their works.
- Location: Inside Cinema Odeon, Downtown
- Price: EGP 20 to 25
- Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/zawyacinema
This is not the regular cafe, this is a place to escape Cairo’s hustle and bustle, to find yourself in an island of peace, somewhere where you can grab a book from their selection of used/rare books, or attend a Yoga, a Chakra Healing, or a Sufi meditation session, or attend one of their movie screenings. The place is relaxing, one that hosts intellectuals, and people who truly appreciate some me time!
- Location: 12 Sayed El Bakry Street, behind Hassan Sabry Street’s Post Office, Zamalek
- Price: no entry fee, however you have to order at least a drink, so you could pay something around EGP 15 -including tips
- Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Sufibookstoreandmore
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Room Art Space
The place occupies the basement of a place with an intriguing history dating back to World War II. It’s a Belle Epoque building with a fixed weekly schedule offering drum circles, yoga classes, tango nights, music concerts, and film screenings happening every Sunday at 8pm.
- Location: 10 Etehaad Al Mohamin street known as Tolombat street in Garden City
- Price: EGP 20 of minimum charge
- Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/roomartspace
For Heliopolis, and other side of the city residents, that’s another place with the concept of chilling out, and breaking away from Cairo’s chaos. The Balcon Heliopolis is all about relaxing, listening to good music performed by local artists every Saturday, or movie screenings every Monday at 8pm.
- Location: 26 Sohag Street, Heliopolis
- Price: EGP 20 for movie screenings
- Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Balcon-Heliopolis-112783312136992/?pnref=lhc
Is a contemporary art and culture center that started operations in 2008, it hosts a variety of events in its indoor and outdoor spaces; from art exhibitions, cultural events, and workshops, to concerts, festivals, and outdoors movie screenings of independent movies. Darb1718 doesn’t have a fixed schedule, so you have to keep an eye on their Facebook page to stay updated.
- Location: Kasr El Sham3 Street, Al Fakhareen
- Price: mostly free entry
- Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Darb1718
Institut Francais D’Egypte
That’s the French Cultural Center which has two locations; one in Mounira, the second is in Heliopolis. It’s a very active center in terms of events, and happenings there, they have movie screenings most of the time, seminars, concerts, and much more.
- Location 1: Madrasset Al-Huquq Al-Ferensseya Street, Mounira
- Location 2: 5 Shafik El-Deeb Street, Ard El-Golf, Heliopolis
- Price: mostly free entry
- Facebook page (Heliopolis): https://www.facebook.com/institutfrancaisegypteheliopolis
- Facebook page (Mounira): https://www.facebook.com/InstitutFrancaisEgypte/
Have you got any other suggestions? We would love to know! Please mention them in the comments below…