Nice has six theaters regularly showing films in English…
The Mercury Cinema 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 Mondays. After-film options are plentiful, as this theatre is surrounded by bars and restaurants.
The Cinémathèque 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: 3€ gets you a yearly membership, then each movie ticket will only set you back 3€ (or just 2.50€/show if you buy a card for 5 screenings!), or 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. The Cinémathèque has large loge-style seats, and is located in the Acropolis complex (conveniently next to the bowling alley, for more retro fun!), tram stop Acropolis.
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 10-minute walk. Or… during the daytime take the new free city shuttle bus, Coeur de Nice Navette, and get off at Gambetta/Promenade for a 5-minute walk; it goes by every 15 minutes until 5:30pm, 5pm Sundays.
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). 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 running late.
- Cinema Variétés Multiplex is right across from the tramway line 2 Jean Médecin tram stop, at 5 blvd Victor Hugo. Tickets are 9-9.50€, but 7€ 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 4.50€, and the first film of the day is just 6€ for everybody, and you can also get the 6€ rate if you buy a ten-film card for 60€.
- 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. Tickets are a whopping 14€! …but less for students (10.40€), seniors over 65 (10.40€), and kids under 14 are just 6.50€. On the website you can filter for films in English.
- Pathé Gare de Sud Multiplex is at the Liberation tram stop, and is conveniently located right next to the massive Gare de Sud food court, with live music and happenings on the terrasses outside. Tickets here are high 14€! …but less for students (10.40€), seniors over 65 (10.40€), and kids under 14 are just 6.50€. On the website you can filter for films in English.
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!
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Photo Credit: Rialto by Phil Lowe licensed under Creative Commons