Being a historical city, many of the buildings in Istanbul have interesting stories. These include music halls, theaters, and even movie theaters. Especially, the movie theaters in Beyoglu are worth mentioning. And in this piece, I will provide information about the best movie theaters in Istanbul.
Best Movie Theaters in Istanbul
The best movie theaters in Istanbul often operate inside shopping malls. However, there are still street cinemas that Istanbul residents love very much. For example, there are two historical movie theaters on Istiklal Street, a pedestrian road starting from Taksim Square. Our list starts with these nostalgic cinemas.
The list of the best movie theaters in Istanbul consists of 12 titles. The cinemas in the first half of the article are on the European Side (1-7), while those in the second half are on the Asian Side (8-12).
1. Atlas Sinemasi
Atlas Sinemasi is located in Historical Atlas Passage. This structure was built by an Armenian businessman named Agop Koceyan during Sultan Abdulaziz era after the Great Fire of Pera in 1870 to be used as a winter house.
Atlas Pasaji became an entertainment and art center after it was repaired in 1932 and the theater hall that started operating in 1948 was the biggest one in Beyoglu with 1860 seat capacity. Atlas Sinemasi has been active since 1948 and has been restored several times. Today, it serves with its halls for 500, 130 and 85 people.
In the past few years, Atlas Sinamasi was under restoration, however, it’s been completely renovated. We should note that the projection screen of the main hall, constructed like an amphitheater, is bigger than many others in Istanbul.
2. Beyoglu Sinemasi
Beyoglu Sinemasi is one of the relatively old cinemas that started to serve Istanbulites in 1989. The cinema, serving with two halls today, is one of the iconic places of the district.
When it was first opened, Beyoglu Sinemasi had one hall that had 300 seat capacity and it housed premieres, chat sessions, and workshops for a long time.
The first movie of Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Kasaba, met the audience as the only copy in Beyoglu Sinemasi. Moreover, almost all movies of directors such as Zeki Demirkubuz, Dervis Zaim, and Yesim Ustaoglu met movie lovers at Beyoglu Sinemasi too.
In the 2010s, it started experiencing financial hardships like other historical city movie theaters and it’s trying to stay on its feet by a project named Loyalty Card that was initiated in 2017.
3. Cinemaximum Marmara Forum
Cinemaximum Marmara Forum is the first movie theater in Turkey where 4DX movies first began to be shown. The hall offers a truly fun experience with motion seats and effects like water and wind.
4. Cinemaximum Zorlu Center
Cinemaximum Zorlu Center can be reached via metro, metrobus, or bus and it boasts 14 movie halls, two of which are VIP halls.
Zorlu Center is one of the most famous shopping centers of Istanbul and located in Besiktas. Zorlu Center is also close to districts with big hotels such as Sisli, Levent and Besiktas.
5. CinemaPink Profilo
CinemaPink Profilo is located in Profilo Shopping Center at Mecidiyekoy and it has 7 halls that have a total of 760 seat capacity. In its halls, Dolby Atmos sound system is used and it’s regarded as one of the best movie theaters in Istanbul due to its central location.
Mecidiyekoy is a busy district with business centers in Istanbul. Mecidiyekoy is very close to touristic areas such as Taksim Square and Sisli, and is also one of the transportation centers of Istanbul.
6. Cinemaximum CITY’S Nisantasi
Cinemaximum CITY’S Nisantasi is located in City’s Shopping Center at Nisantasi and it stands out with its 7 movie theaters and 700 square meters foyer area. You can have a comfy movie experience on its seats designed by the designer of Ferrari.
Nisantasi stands out as one of the most luxurious districts of Istanbul. Famous for its fashion boutiques, the district is also home to some of the best shopping streets in Istanbul.
7. Cinemaximum IstinyePark
Cinemaximum IstinyePark is both comfortable and easily accessible. Also, its projection screen is bigger compared to others. The movie theater has 12 halls and you can experience 3D movie technology on a much bigger screen thanks to IMAX compared to usual ones.
IstinyePark is the most luxurious among dozens of shopping malls in Istanbul. The shopping center, which is frequented by celebrities in the city, can be easily reached by metro from Taksim Square.
8. Rexx Sinemasi
Rexx Sinemasi is one of the symbols of Kadikoy and it has one of the biggest foyer areas among city movie halls. It was a theatre hall in the early 1900s and known as “Hale Sinemasi” till the 1960s. It was rebuilt in 1961 and was renamed as Rexx after its original name Reks.
Rexx Sinemasi has 1100 seat capacity and it’s regarded as one of the prominent movie halls on the Asian side of Istanbul. You can also enjoy 3D movies at Rexx Sinemasi.
Rexx Cinema is very close to Moda, the most popular neighborhood of Kadikoy, and Bahariye Street, which is the clothing shopping street. You can come to Kadikoy by ferry from Eminonu (near Sultanahmet) or Karakoy (near Taksim) and visit these places.
9. Capitol Spectrum Cineplex
Capital Spectrum Cineplex is located in Capitol Shopping Mall at Uskudar and it boasts 10 movie halls. All of its halls have a curved screen that enables watching movies comfortably at any angle. It also boasts a high-quality Dolby Atmos sound system in its four halls.
In its football stadium shaped halls, the seat height can be modified and there are special seats for the physically handicapped. Moreover, one of its halls offers a VIP concept. Lastly, there is also an open-air terrace at Capitol Spectrum Cinexplex where guests can relax and chill.
Capitol Spectrum Cineplex is located in Uskudar, one of the most popular districts on the Asian side of Istanbul. From the European Side, you can easily reach Uskudar by public ferry and go to the cinema in Altunizade by bus.
10. Avsar Sinemalari
Avsar Sinemalari is located in Kartal district on the Asian side of Istanbul. Located in the IstMarina Shopping Mall on the coastal road, the cinema belongs to a famous local film company called Avsar Film. The Avsar Film plays an important role in the history of Turkish cinema and also stands out with its movie hall.
Kartal is a district in the far part of the Asian side of Istanbul. Although not very close to touristic centers, it is very close to Sabiha Gokcen Airport, which is the international airport on the Asian side.
11. Kadikoy Sinemasi
Kadikoy Sinemasi is one of the oldest movie halls in Kadikoy. It’s located in Kadikoy Passage on Bahariye Street. It was built as a theater hall in 1964 and served as a movie hall in winters and as a theater hall in summers for a long time. It was later bought by Funda Kocadag in 2019 and restored to serve as a movie theater, which has a 318 seat capacity.
Kadikoy Sinemasi is located in Kadikoy, which is the most visited district on the Asian side by tourists. Famous for its Fish Market and local Turkish restaurants, Kadikoy is among the must-see places in Istanbul.
12. Bulvar 216 Cinemo
Bulvar 216 Cinemo was founded in an attempt to create a new vision in cinema. It has a capacity of approximately 1700 seats in its halls. Some of this seat capacity is in Atasehir, located on the Asian side of Istanbul. The rest is inside the Grand Pera building, which is within walking distance of Taksim Square.
Grand Pera, with Madame Tussauds Istanbul at the entrance, is one of the iconic buildings of the district and is located on Istiklal Street.
If you want to participate in art events in Istanbul, our article on the best theater halls in Istanbul may also interest you.
Written by Serhat Engul