The best alternative cinemas in Cape Town

I’m a movie addict. I love films because they have the potential to teach us so much. I can remember a classmate of mine saying how she no longer watches films since they all seem to have similar storylines. And I suggested that she watch foreign films. Cape Town has many cinemas which play traditional Hollywood blockbusters. However, the city is also home to cinemas with character. If you want to catch a commercial film or foreign film in the city at an exceptional cinema then follow this guide.

The Labia

This cinema is named after an Italian Princess who once used the building as a ballroom now houses the cinema. The Labia is an independent cinema which plays foreign films, art house films, documentaries. The Labia also usually has one commercial film on its line up for moviegoers who enjoy more traditional films. The splendid thing about this cinema located on Orange Street in the CBD is that it has a fully stocked bar. You can grab a beer, cider, glass of wine or a vodka-spiked slushie to go along with your popcorn. The Labia sells a few food items and you can sit on the balcony or outside deck before your film starts and soak in the sun’s rays. The Labia has heaps of old world charm and a cosy atmosphere to boot. Once you buy your ticket you can go sit in any available seat. What’s more is that the tickets are a steal at R50 per person and they have a killer movie and meal special. For R110 to R150 you get two movie tickets and two meals. More information is just a click


The Pepper Club Hotel

This venue is not a cinema on the rooftop of the hotel you can watch a film. The movies are usually older commercial films which add nostalgia to the experience. The set up is intimate with only a few seats. The backdrop is spectacular as you get to see Table Mountain in all its glory from the rooftop.  And don’t worry about the rain the film screening takes place inside of a glass structure so you will be protected from the elements. For more click here:


The Galileo outdoor cinema

This cinema is seasonal if you happen to be visiting Cape Town during the summer this is a fantastic way to spend an evening. The Galileo cinema is hosted at several spots in Cape Town. You can catch a film at the V&A Waterfront, or on the lush grass at Kirstenbosch botanical gardens, and sometimes at Spier wine estate in Stellenbosch. Ticket prices vary and you can order a picnic basket to go along with the film. You can also hire a lawn chair at an additional cost if the thought alone of sitting on the grass makes you itch already. For more info see:

Batstone pool

In the upmarket Waterkant district if the CBD there’s a poolside restaurant and bar called Batstone pool. And if you are lucky you might get to watch a film there. The Short & Sweet film series plays at this pop-up cinema venue from time to time. Various short films are screened on the rooftop. This venue is also only open during Cape Town’s spring and summer season. I have been told that it is fabulous and can’t wait to go myself one day. Their website is:

Bertha’s Movie House

Bertha’s movie house is a cinema in Khayelitsha. Khayelitsha is an informal settlement in Cape Town created during the apartheid era. And this cinema is a really brilliant initiative to uplift the community. If you plan on going I’d advise you go with a group, don’t flash your belongings and get a local guide to take you. The area isn’t a war zone but, it does have a high crime rate. That being said Cape Town is more than its tourist hotspots and if you want to really see the city as a whole visiting a township is a must. Added to all of this is that the cinema screens fascinating films. To find out more visit:


Cinema Nouveau

This venue is very much more traditional and several malls across the city host this cinema. The one I usually go to is located at the V&A Waterfront close to the Hamley toy store. What makes it exceptional is the films that are screened. This cinema plays independent, foreign and art house films. To see what’s screening go to:

The Fugard Theatre

This popular theatre happens to screen films periodically on Sundays. You might be able to catch a film there if you pay close attention to the theatres Facebook page. The films are usually adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays or ballet performances. The Fugard theatre blends cinema and theatre together all at a wondrous venue. The season usually starts in February and ends in July. So keep an eye out for next year’s season if you missed out. To learn more see the website at:

And that’s a wrap for now. Do you have a favourite cinema? My favourite is the Labia Cinema. Thank you for reading my post and visiting my blog. I hope you enjoyed reading my post. Feel free to comment as I am open to feedback. If you want to chat or collaborate drop me an e-mail or inbox me.

Wishing you many happy travels through the journey of life!

xxx Nikki xxx