In Hungary, movie dubbing has a long history. Watching Forrest Gump or Pulp Fiction in Hungarian is an experience that not many can enjoy who don’t speak the language but it only makes it even more special. However, for non-Hungarian audiences this presents a bit of an issue with finding the perfect place for a movie night in Budapest if they actually want to understand what they are watching.
Fortunately, there’s a wide range of smaller, independent art theaters in Budapest where you can catch some films in the original language. Excluding multiplex cinemas, here is the definitive list of the Budapest art cinemas that are absolutely worth checking out:
Puskin Art Cinema
Puskin Art Cinema is not only one of the most beautiful and cozy cinemas in the Hungarian capital but it also offers a decent range of both art and genre films in their original language. Many of the big crowd favorites of the past few years are still showing, like “Another Round” or “Drive My Car”, but Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis” is also on the schedule every day.
Művész Art Cinema
Művész Art Cinema literally has the word “Artist” in the name, so it’s easy to figure out what to expect here. Similar to Puskin, Művész offers many popular art films with original dubs, like “Belfast” and “Elvis”, or even the extremely popular and crazy “Everything, Everywhere, All at Once”. They frequently bring back great films from a few years ago, such as “The French Dispatch”, while putting a blockbuster on their roster here and there as well, like they did with Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune” last year.
Toldi Art Cinema
Toldi Art Cinema is a key institute of the 5th District of Budapest, awaiting visitors with an unusual atmosphere and a ruin pub setting. If you are planning on getting a beer or having a great night out after watching a movie, then Toldi is definitely the place to go to. All of their screenings are in the original language, although they operate with a much smaller range than some of the other art cinemas, such as Puskin or Művész.
Urania National Film Theatre
Urania is a theatre you must see for its visual offerings, even without anything actually playing on the screen. Luckily, they offer 2-3 screenings of various art films per day – all of them in the original language – so you get both the movie-going experience and the aesthetic fulfillment.