Every summer, Parisians traipse up to the ultramodern Parc de la Villette in northern Paris with blankets and folding chairs to take advantage of celluloid in the breeze. The open-air cinema, or "cinéma en plein air", is generally free and hosts at least one show each evening for around a month in July and August, with a program chock full of both classics and recent hits.
Worried that you'll need solid French to enjoy this event?
Luckily for international visitors, many of the films on the program each year are shown in English. Pack a picnic and a blanket and come enjoy a good movie under the stars. All screenings begin at sundown, and are shown in their original version with French subtitles (except for French films, which are unfortunately not offered with subtitles).
2017 Program at the Parc de la Villette: Cinema en Plein Air
Moviegoers can enjoy free admission to open-air cinema every evening at the Parc de la Villette from July 20th through August 20th, 2017. Chaises longues are available for a small charge.
Visit the official website for details on the 2017 schedule which runs from June 20 through August 20.
2016 information: This year, the theme is "Dress code". The park will be screening free classics and contemporary favorites on the theme of officials in their professional milieu-- from astronauts to military and police officers to doctors in their white hospital garb.
A quirky, but decidedly interesting, theme that will bring together an eclectic array of films-- many of them that'll be sure to please sci-fi and adventure fans. Highlights this year include the following:
- Gravity, Alfonso Cuaron's Oscar-winning film starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, telling the visually breathtaking tale of two astronauts on a mission gone fatally wrong (screening on July 13th, opening night)
- Rushmore, Wes Anderson's cult classic about a quirky band of schoolboys in uniform at the fictional Rushmore Academy (Screening on July 15th)
- Miami Vice, the recent reboot starring Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell (July 16th)
- Star Trek, JJ Abrams' acclaimed reboot of the cult sci-fi series (July 23rd)
- Interstellar, Christopher Nolan's award-winning space adventure (August 13th)
For complete details on the 2017 program: Call the event organizers for details at +33(0)140 037 575, or visit the official website to download the program (in French). Another useful list of all the films is here (in French, but easy to find dates and film details)
Practical Information on the Open-Air Cinema: How to Get There
- Location: Main entrance at the Cité de Sciences et de L'Industrie, 30 rue Corentin-Cariou, 19th arrondissement. (Read Related: Visiting the Museum of Science and Industry in Paris)
- The films are screened on the large expanse of lawn known as the "Prairie du Triangle" (consult one of the many onsite maps at the park for directions, or ask a park staff member to direct you.)
Metro: Porte de la Villette or Porte de Pantin (Line 5 or 7)