English Language Cinemas in Nice

Nice has seven theaters regularly showing films in English…

Arthouse and Indie Cinemas

Belmondo Cinema in NiceThe Belmondo Cinema (formerly Mercury) The oldest cinema in Nice (1911), the Mercury is also the quirkiest. Tucked in the corner of Place Garibaldi (tram stop Garibaldi), this art-house cinema features a wide range of indie, cult, foreign, documentary and just genuinely eclectic programming on three screens, and all in original language.   Around 35 films a week screen on a rotating schedule, which means that each film runs a just a few times a week, so check the schedule.  The shows start right on time with no previews or ads, so be prompt!   Tickets are 8€, but just 6.50€ for students, seniors over 60, and everyone on Cheap Movie MondaysApres-film options are plentiful, as this theatre is surrounded by bars and restaurants.

The Cinémathèque has moved and is now sharing space at the new Megarama multiplex, tram stop Vauban.   In this age of rising ticket prices and shrinking screens, The Cinémathèque bucks the trend by showing big classic films on the giant screen size they were made for…   And best of all, the ticket price is also a throwback to an earlier era: 5€ gets you a yearly membership, then each movie ticket will only set you back 3.50€ (or just 3€/show if you buy a 5-film card for 15€!), or just 2€ for students and kids under 18.  The films are chosen based on several monthly themes that can range from classics, genres, countries, topics, or specific directors or actors.  The films run on a rotating monthly schedule and usually will only show 1-3 times, then they’re gone.

  • Here’s a little insider tipIf you live here and join the Cinematheque, you can apply for a Cannes Cinephiles badge to see the Cannes Film Festival official films during the festival (but only in the theaters on the outskirts of Cannes… but still!)

The Rialto Cinema shows first-run films as well as indies, documentaries and art house films in their original language.  They always run 10 minutes of trailers, so don’t panic if you are late. Tickets are 8.50€, but only 7€ for students, seniors over 60, and everyone on Cheap Movie Mondays.  You’ll pay only 6€ for the first show of the day (or if you by a 10-film card for 60€), and kids under 14 are 4.50€.  You can reserve and buy your tickets directly on their website, which is far quicker and easier to use than the AlloCine site. You’ll find the Rialto just up the street behind the Hotel Negresco (and right next to one of the best coffee houses in Nice, Café Frei); tram stop Alsace Lorraine plus a 5-minute walk.  Or… during the daytime take the new bus #99 that does a long continuous figure-8 through town every 15 minutes and get off at the Rivoli stop.

Cinema Variétés Multiplex is right across from the tramway line 2 Jean Médecin tram stop, at 5 blvd Victor Hugo. Tickets are 9.50€, but 7.50€ for students under 18, seniors over 60, and everyone on Cheap Movie Mondays, and also weekdays before 6:30pm.  Kids under 14 get in for 5€, and the first film of the day is just 6.50€ for everybody, and you can also get the 6€ rate if you buy a ten-film card for 60€.  They show 10 minutes of ads and trailers, so don’t worry if you are running late

  • Insider tip: Once a month, Varietes Cinema hosts  the newest fun craze: Movie Karaoke Night Ecran Pop!  Dress up, bring props, dance along, sing your heart out… to Grease, Dirty Dancing, Bohemian Rhapsody, Mamma Mia, Frozen…  Go for it: it’s a wild and fun night, and there are costume prizes and other surprises.  Tickets are 24€
  • On a more serious note, Varieties beams in direct the entire season of Ballet and Opera live from the Royal London Opera House. Tickets are 16€ 

Mainstream Multiplexes

The crowded mainstream multiplexes in downtown Nice usually show their Hollywood blockbusters dubbed in French, but are now showing more and more of their films in the original language; just look for the V.O. after the title (V.O. = version original) and on the websites you can filter for films in English.  These multiplexes are crowded and the ticket lines can be long (so best to buy online with the AlloCine app or website). In these mainstream cinemas there are always 10-20 minutes of ads and trailers, so don’t panic if you’re late.

Pathe Cinemas (2 downtown Nice locations) are the most crowded and most expensive with tickets going for 14,70€!  Students and seniors over 65 are 10.80€, and kids under 14 are 7.50€.  They are almost double all the other theaters, and definitely no Cheap Movie Mondays here!  So why are they always so crowded?  Because they sell unlimited screening CinePass cards for around 20€/month that you subscribe to for a year.  Pathé Massena Multiplex is located right across from the tramway line 1 Jean Médecin tram stop, and directly across from the Nice Etoile shopping mall.  Pathé Gare de Sud Multiplex features as Dolby sound system, and is at the Liberation tram stop, conveniently located right next to the massive Gare de Sud food court, with live music and happenings on the terraces outside.

  • Insider Tip: Live from New York, Pathe Massena beams in the entire season of Ballet and Opera direct from the New York Metropolitan Opera House.  But not just Opera, they also offer live transmission of rock concerts… click the link above to see the entire slate.

Cinema Megarama seems like is a bit out of the town center, but actually it’s just a short tram ride to the Vauban tram stop.  They are sharing a screen with the retro Cinematheque as mentioned above, but they show blockbusters and first-run releases on all their other multiplex screens.  Tickets are 10.90€,  seniors over 65 is 8.90€, students 7.50€, kids 6€, and you can buy a 10 film card for 70€.

You can see everything playing in Nice at one time, and buy your tickets online (saving tons of time, especially if going to one of the downtown multiplexes), with the Allo Cine app or website.

A couple of other things to note…

  • All movie listings change on Wednesdays
  • The second that the credits start to roll, all French movie houses abruptly crank up the house lights, so have a kleenex ready to wipe the mascara running down your cheeks!

Back up to Nice by Night page

Photo Credit: Rialto by Phil Lowe licensed under Creative Commons, Belmondo Cinema by Best of Nice

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