What’s the open air cinema scene in Lisbon like?
One word: Magical!
Imagine this: sitting on comfortable deck chairs on a rooftop overlooking the city, watching a good movie with your partner or friends under the night sky. Does it get any better? I don’t think so!
Matthew and I were living in Lisbon for a month as digital nomads and this was on my bucket list. We love watching movies in the cinema and this was a very cool, unique date night activity for us!
Want all the information on the open air cinema Lisbon scene? We’ve got you covered! In this blog, we are going to share the top outdoor cinemas in Lisbon, the cost of a ticket and a few tips to ensure you have an unforgettable night!
Open Air Cinema Lisbon: Which Is The Best One?
Struggling to choose which open air cinema in Lisbon to go to?
It can be difficult because there are more of them popping up! However, you can easily compare them because the outdoor cinemas differ based on things like:
- the kind of movies they show
- the kind of seats you’ll get
- how they deliver the sound/audio
- the food and drinks they serve
I didn’t want to include all the open air cinema options in Lisbon because they aren’t all great. There are 2 outdoor cinemas that are worth it and make the whole experience cool!
Which is the best of the 2 options? We highly recommend Cine Society PT for the best open air cinema in Lisbon! We went in August and got to watch the classic movie “The Royal Tenenbaums”. It was one of those unforgettable movie experiences we’ve had, a top date night for us!
That’s why you’ll see more options if you Google ‘open air cinemas Lisbon’ but just remember that these 2 are the best ones! The other outdoor cinemas won’t have comfy chairs, might have bad outdoor screens and might be located too far out of the city.
Here are the 2 best open air cinemas in Lisbon with comfy deck chairs, located in the heart of the city with an easy booking process.
1. Cine Society PT
You know when some businesses are just cool. Like Cine Society PT is just a cool business, with great branding and an awesome aesthetic (that’s probably the marketer in me getting giddy).
Cine Society’s open air cinema in Lisbon is nestled next to the Convento do Carmo which is close to the Elevador de Santa Justa in Chiado. The best part about Cine Society is that they create the most mesmerizing atmosphere. That’s what initially caught my eye when I saw my friend post about their experience on Instagram!
This enchanting rooftop cinema offers viewers comfortable canvas deck chairs, headphone sets where the audio comes through and a great selection of movies to choose from – all under the beautiful night sky in Lisbon. Talk about romance!
Cine Society shows cult classic movies with a mix of recent releases such as:
- Monty Python
- Breakfast at Tiffany’s
- Annie Hall and so much more.
- The Fabelmans
- French Dispatch and
- Top Gun: Maverick
A single ticket for Cine Society’s open air cinema costs €13.90. This reserves a seat for you and you will also get a blanket and headphones for the movie audio included. They have a small popcorn and candy stand where you can buy some snacks. You can easily book on their website by selecting the movie/date you want to watch.
The best part about Cine Society? The individual headphones! When you’re watching a movie outdoors, there’s a lot of noise that can disrupt the sound. You want to actually watch and enjoy the movie and not struggle through it right? Black Cat Cinema doesn’t offer headphones which means the people in the back might have a harder time hearing the audio. Let me clarify: the sound will probably reach all the way but you might just have a harder time hearing the audio from the back. With Cine Society, you have your own headset and you can adjust the volume to your liking!
Matthew and I had a month-long digital nomad stay in Lisbon in August so we got to experience the magic of Cine Society for ourselves! We absolutely loved our experience (but you’ll read more about that below).
2. Black Cat Cinema
Black Cat Cinema is another great option for open air cinemas in Lisbon! The best thing about Black Cat Cinema is that they offer food and drinks at the venue.
You can order a wood-oven-fired pizza an hour before the movie start and get drinks from the bar like beer, cocktails and soda about 2 hours before showtime. They also have popcorn available (cash only).
A single ticket for Black Cat Cinema’s open air cinema costs €18.02 (including extra fees). This gives you a reserved seat (the comfy deck chairs or director’s chairs) which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. We suggest getting there early to secure the more comfortable canvas deck chairs closer to the screen!
Black Cat Cinema shows older, classic films like Fight Club, Interstellar and Midnight In Paris. For more recent releases, Cine Society has shown movies released in 2022!
Black Cat Cinema’s main location is located on the east side of the city, close to the big train station that takes you from Lisbon to Porto. It’s further away from the city center but you can easily catch a Uber or Bolt ride there.
They have a few locations across Portugal even in Sintra, the closest one to Lisbon city center is the Santos-o-Velho location (which is next to the station). This may be a little harder to find as the Google location is the main one on the east side!
A Magical Night At Cine Society: Our Personal Experience
I heard about Cine Society from a friend’s Instagram and I immediately saved it for our trip to Portugal! This was such a unique activity for a date night or even if you just wanted to do something different in Lisbon – an open air cinema perched on a rooftop overlooking the city is very very cool.
The deck chairs were very comfy, it felt like we were lounging the whole time. The most important thing is that you arrive early to secure good seats. We arrived about an hour early and got front-row seats! Cine Society staff are also very friendly! They will help you out with the headphones, offer a blanket and set everything up for the movie.
How To Buy Tickets For Cine Society Lisbon?
This was surprisingly very easy! You can easily buy tickets through their website. I usually go through their Instagram page and they have a link to buy tickets.
Once you are on the Cine Society website, you can select the movie you want to watch. On the top right of the movie poster, the showing date will appear. Make sure to double-check the dates to see if you are available!
Once you click ‘Buy Tickets’, you can select how many seats you want. A single ticket for Cine Society costs €13.90. You will get a canvas deck chair guaranteed! Your ticket also includes a blanket and the headset for the audio.
You will receive a confirmation email with an attached PDF with your ticket vouchers. Simply show these vouchers as you enter the outdoor cinema area (most likely next to the candy stand).
That’s it! It’s a very simple, easy and user-friendly process.
Don’t miss out: Popular films sell out fairly quickly! The best thing to do is follow their Instagram page so you get the release dates for new films. They will also post if the ticket availability starts to get low so you can quickly book your tickets!
I really wanted to watch Groundhog Day at Cine Society but we were leaving Portugal earlier so we watched The Royal Tenebaums instead.
Where Is Cine Society Located?
This might be confusing at first!
You can simply Google ‘Cine Society Lisbon’ on Maps and it should pop up. It was a little confusing when we first arrived because we were in front of the church but couldn’t see the rooftop area. If you’re like us, you can search for ‘Carmo Rooftop‘ instead. This is the rooftop bar right next to the outdoor cinema.
The official address for Cine Society Lisbon is: Terraços do Carmo, Largo do Carmo, 1200-288 Lisboa. Enter on the right side of the building and you’ll have to walk through some stairs. You will actually be right next to the Elevador de Santa Justa. Take a minute to take in the views from there because it’s a similar view to the one people pay to visit Santa Justa!
One of the best things about this open air cinema in Lisbon is that it’s located in the heart of the Chiado neighborhood. You are sitting next to the beautiful Convento do Carmo on a rooftop overlooking the city. Does it get any better than that? I don’t think so!
What’s Included In Your Movie Ticket?
When you buy a ticket at Cine Society, you will have a guaranteed seat (deck chair style) and a headset so you can hear the movie audio. They will also offer blankets which is a nice touch especially if you watch later in the summer or beginning of the fall season. Make sure to bring some layers if you get cold easily like me, as it gets later in the night it can get pretty chilly (even with a blanket).
There is a rooftop bar next door to the open air cinema called Carmo Rooftop. You can buy drinks like beer, wine and soda here. This is NOT included in your ticket. Some people arrived earlier and had dinner here before watching the movie.
Feel like a snack? They have a cute popcorn/snack stand at the venue. When we went back in September, this is what they offered:
- Jelly: €3/€5
- Popcorn: €3
- KitKat: €1
- Skittles: €3
This costs extra and you can only pay in cash for the snacks! We only had a €2 coin and the only snack we could afford was a KitKat bar lol! Make sure you bring some cash if you want to buy snacks. As for bringing your own snacks, I’m not entirely sure if you can. A lot of people bought popcorn, you might want to double-check with Cine Society if it’s possible!
When Does The Movie Start?
As a general rule of thumb, the movies usually start showing at 8:30pm till 11:30pm (if it’s a long movie). But it also depends!
The movies usually start when it’s dark enough outside. This varies because early (May) and late (September) in the season, the movies usually start around 8:30pm. When it’s the peak summer season (June, July, August) they try to keep to the 8:30pm start time. It all depends on how dark it gets at what time.
How Do You Hear The Movie Audio?
For the open air cinema at Cine Society, they use headsets! Every ticket comes with your own individual headphones. This was a very cool feature because it meant you could adjust the volume and you can’t be too far to hear the sound. Even if you’re seated in the back!
I think they work via bluetooth and the staff are very helpful to come around to make sure it all works for you! If you have any troubles, just let them know and they can fix it or give you a new headset.
TTA TIP: Arrive Early!
Want good seats? Get there early!
Matthew and I got there 1 hour early at around 7:30pm. Being that early, we got to grab 2 seats in the front row! We highly recommend trying to go for the front row because you won’t have anyone or any seats in front of you – just the screen!
You are allowed to reserve your seat so if you want a seat at the front, arrive at least an hour early! They might not let you into the seating area right away but just standby and wait till they do.
We found a lot of people arrived at around 8:00pm for an 8:30pm showing. We arrived at 7:30pm and there was only a handful of us! The people that arrived late had to sit in the back which isn’t sooo bad but it’s definitely harder to see the screen. There’s no elevation which means it’s all flat across the chairs!
Should You Go To An Open Air Cinema In Lisbon?
If you’re looking for a different experience, the open air cinema scene in Lisbon is a wonderful experience for everyone!
The open air cinema Lisbon scene is very cool because they choose beautiful venues, have good movie selections and they are focused on creating a magical experience for everyone!
The best open air cinema in Lisbon is Cine Society. We loved the experience because the venue itself is just SO stunning! You can arrive early and admire the views of the beautiful orange rooftops overlooking Lisbon city. A single ticket costs €13.90 at Cine Society (one of the more affordable ones) which includes comfy deck chairs, a set of headphones and a blanket to ensure you have the best viewing experience!
If you love to watch movies or simply looking for a unique activity, you can’t go wrong with the open air cinemas in Lisbon! They are usually open for the late spring, summer and late fall seasons. If you happen to be in Lisbon for that period, it’s worth checking out the open air cinema Lisbon scene!
Open Air Cinema Lisbon – FAQs
Do The Movies Show In English Or Portuguese?
The movie will usually show in its original language. If the movie is originally in English, we found that’s what they showed it in. They would have the Portuguese subtitles below and vice versa. If the movie was showing in Portuguese, there would usually be English subtitles.
This may not apply to all open air cinemas in Lisbon. In our experience with Cine Society, the audio was always in English, again if the original language of the movie is English. If the movie isn’t in English or Portuguese, they will have both subtitles below!
Ticket Price For An Open Air Cinema In Lisbon?
Cine Society is one of the best but also most cost-effective options for open air cinemas in Lisbon! They charge €13.90 for a single ticket while Black Cat Cinema charges around €18.
In our personal experience, we think that you get the best value for money at Cine Society. They have very comfy deck chairs for every reserved seat whereas Black Cat Cinema has a mix of deck chairs and director’s chairs (which aren’t as comfy).
What Kind Of Movies Show At Open Air Cinemas In Lisbon?
They show all kinds of movies at the open air cinemas in Lisbon! Some outdoor cinemas will have themes or simply show classic movies. A lot of them are starting to have more of a mix!
Here are some examples of the films being shown at the open air cinemas in Lisbon:
- Monty Python: Holy Grail
- Notting Hill
- Top Gun: Maverick
- Groundhog Day
- The Fabelmans
- Annie Hall
You can usually find something you are interested in! The only thing is that you will have to be flexible with dates if you want to watch a certain film. I wanted to watch Groundhog Day but it sold out early and I just wanted to experience the outdoor cinema so we decided to watch The Royal Tenebaums instead!