New arthouse cinema Kino Balt opens in Prague’s historic center

A new independent cinema is opening this weekend in the historic center of Prague: located on Karoliny Světlé street in-between Charles Bridge and the National Theater, Kino Balt bills itself as a family-run operation, and its programming has a bit of a William Castle vibe.

Prague’s city center has no shortage of excellent arthouses, with Kino Světozor and Kino Lucerna alongside Wenceslas Square, and Edison Filmhub just a tram stop away. But these options are each in the New Town neighborhood of Prague 1.

Ever since Kino Perštýn closed down over a decade ago, Kino Ponrepo has been the lone cinema in Prague’s Old Town neighborhood, but from tomorrow it will be joined by Kino Balt. Across the river, Malá Strana still lacks a regular cinema, with efforts to resurrect the classic Kino U Hradeb unsuccessful over the past half-decade.

Photo: Kino Balt

Kino Balt might be one of Prague’s smallest arthouse cinemas, with only 25 seats (including some beach chairs in the first row).

But it also features some unique amenities including table service during the movie (free tapas with every drink), free entry for children under three, and a restroom inside the cinema hall so you don’t miss anything during a pee break (*not sure how this works). And the promise, at least, of some interesting programming.

Through the end of September, screenings at Kino Balt are only intermittent (Tuesdays and Fridays), and don’t feature anything out of the ordinary: the lineup largely includes new releases now playing in other Prague cinemas, including the excellent Decision to Leave and Fire of Love.

But Kino Balt programmers promise something a little different on the docket, with screening cycles that include spine-tingling horror films so scary that drinks are only served in resealable containers; fright breaks and insurance policies not included.

Photo: Kino Balt

The lineup also features bad-movie rum tastings, with the worst movies the programmers can find set to four servings of rum. The first of these screenings actually feature two well-received movies, Alex Garland’s Men and the Czech comedy Párty Hárder: Summer Massacre, though a screening of Roland Emmerich’s Moonfall on September 23 will go nice with some of the golden liquid.

Kino Balt’s schedule also includes some of the free-entry “blind date” screenings that have been popular at Kino Aero and Bio Oko over the years: you can come for free, but the movie will be a surprise. A voluntary admission can be paid after the film.

More information about Kino Balt, and a full screening schedule, can be found at its official website.

For more great cinema options in the Czech capital, check out our rundown of the top 10 cinemas in Prague.


Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky has been writing about the Prague film scene and reviewing films in print and online media since 2005. A member of the Online Film Critics Society, you can also catch his musings on life in Prague at and tips on mindfulness sourced from ancient principles at

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