When I go to the movies here in Rome, I more often than not find myself at the Metropolitan Cinema right by the Piazza del Popolo end of the via del Corso (via del Corso 7 to be precise). I love this theater because they always show movies in original language, so I’m able to watch American films in English and have even braved watching an Almodovar film in Spanish with Italian subtitles. In doing a little research for this post, I was intrigued to find out that the cinema was at one time owned by the father of Roberto Rossellini. There are many historic cinemas here in the city, such as the Cinema Barberini. I think many of them were opened during the glamour and boom of Cinecitta’ but sadly many, such as the Cinema Volturno, have been closed and often are being turned into Bingo halls.
I love the movie theaters here because they are normally small and have a kind of art nouveau charm that makes me feel like I’m in the old days of film. Yes, there are some large theaters like Warner Brothers in Piazza della Repubblica, but for the most part I think it’s these small theaters that have survived because they have lower overhead costs. By the way, the Metropolitan isn’t the only theater for original language films, but the one that has them on the most consistent basis and every night of the week. The Nuovo Olimpia tucked back off the via del Corso also has original language films, but only two screens.