The majority of Moscow movie theatres and cinemas show Russian and international films in Russian, without English subtitles. In these cinemas, releases of Hollywood blockbusters are usually at the same time or just slightly later than the release date in the U.S. There are some venues where you can find films in their original language, although a slightly longer delay for arrival is common. The following theatres show English- and other foreign-language films.
- Dome Cinema
A one-screen American-style cinema that shows the latest blockbusters. Tickets cost 200 – 300 RUR.
+7 (495) 931 98 73
Inside the Renaissance Moscow Hotel
Olimpiiskiy Pr 18/1
Closest metro: Prospekt Mira
One screen in a large hall. Emphasis on the latest blockbusters. Tickets cost 150-300 RUR
+7 (495) 941 87 47
Inside the Radisson SAS Hotel
Pl. Evropy 2
Closest metro: Kievskaya
- 35 ММ
Shows foreign films in the original language. Emphasis on independent films. Be sure to verify the language before purchasing tickets, as this theatre has lately begun showing foreign films dubbed in Russian, as well. Tickets cost 100 – 450 RUR.
+7 (495) 917 54 92
Ul. Pokrovka 47/24
Closest metro: Krasniye vorota or Kurskaya
Tickets for movies are best purchased in advance, at least a few hours or ideally several days. You can purchase them only at the theatre itself.
The weekly free English-language newspaper, the Moscow Times, has a “What’s On” section that lists movies playing across the theatres of Moscow. For each movie, it specifies the soundtrack and any subtitle languages. You can use this to find an occasional screening in the original language that may happen at some of the larger and better-equipped cinemas of the city.
You can also check with your embassy for any local groups that may show movies in your native language. For example, the Italian Cinema Club at the Italian Cultural Institute gathers monthly to show contemporary Italian films, followed by discussion, free of charge. (http://www.iicmosca.esteri.it/IIC_Mosca)
DVDs (including English-language)
DVDs can be had everywhere in Moscow – they are sold on street corners, in underpasses, in small kiosks, and large established stores.
Prices start at 150 RUR and films are often available on DVD even before they hit theatres. If that sounds too good to be true, it is – these are typically pirated copies. When you purchase a DVD at a market, from a street vendor, or in a small store, the cover of the packaging is usually just a photocopy of the real thing, and information about the soundtracks available may be inaccurate. Not to mention the image and sound quality can vary substantially. If you wish to buy a low-cost, possibly pirated DVD, stick to kiosk and more established sellers who will take the DVD out of the packaging and play it for you so that you can verify it contains the movie and the needed soundtrack.
There is no need to take such precautions in established DVD stores, where the DVDs sold are real, and legal. In these stores, prices will range from 350 to 450 RUR.
There is no rental market for DVDs in Moscow. To purchase, visit one of these locations:
Barklaya Ul. 8
Closest metro: Bagartionovskaya
This legendary market is famous for its pirated copies of software, film and music – so much so that U.S. diplomats’ teenage children were forbidden to visit! In the early 2000s, the open-air market was shut down, but a huge shopping complex of the same name soon opened nearby. Although many electronics are sold, the CD/DVD section is huge – and now dominated by legitimate copies. It consists of many small kiosks, and you may have to do some searching to find what you’re looking for.
- Purple Legion
Novokuznetskaya Ul. 1
Closest metro: Novokuznetskaya
The only CD/DVD store in town that has an entire department devoted exclusively to original imported DVDs. This makes it an essential for those who want to watch legal copies of new Hollywood blockbusters in the original language, as official Russian releases often have only one language option – Russian. This store also has a well-organized ordering system, and the price for CDs or DVDs you order you from foreign catalogues is the same as if it were in stock.
The oldest and largest chain of CD/DVD stores in Russia, affiliated with a record label of the same name. Soyuz stores are more mainstream, targeting wide groups of buyers of music and movies. The stores also stock electronic equipment.
Nastroyeniye outlets are small and numerous, located near many metro stations, both in the center and on the outskirts. While they compete with Soyuz in the product range and target market, the selection is narrower that at Soyuz, but you can still find a variety of films on the shelves.
Myasnitskaya Ul. 6
Closest metro: Lubyanka
One of the biggest and most popular bookstores, with a large CD/DVD department.
Moscow has a rich selection of high-quality ballet, theatre, and opera performances. The arts are highly valued in Russia, with a series of increasingly prestigious presidential awards given to the most achieved actors, actresses, and musicians. The arts are also subsidized by the government in many cases, and while ticket prices may easily go over 15,000 RUR for star events, it is possible to buy tickets as cheaply as 500 RUR to matinee and weekday performances, even at the Bolshoi, while tickets may go for as little as 100 RUR at other theatres and concert halls.
World-class ballet performances, theatre, and musicals can all be seen at the fabulous Bolshoi Theatre. Prices range from 500 to over 15,000 RUR.
Teatralnaya Ploshad 1
Closest metro: Teatralnaya
- Chekov Moscow Arts Theatre
A very wide repertoire of plays, emphasis on classical Russian-authored productions.
+7 (495) 629-87-60
Kamergerskiy Per 3
Closest metro: Teatralnaya
- Lenkom Theatre
A broad range of contemporary plays and musicals. Tickets range from 100 to 3,000 RUR.
http://www.lenkom.ru/ (Russian only)
+7 (495) 699-96-68
Malaia Dmitrovka Ul 6
Closest metro: Pushkinskaya or Chekhovskaya
- State Kremlin Palace
Features ballet and western opera performances.
http://www.gkd.ru/ (Russian only)
+7 (495) 628-52-32
Ul. Vozdvizhenka 1
Closest metro: Biblioteka im. Lenina; Arbatskaya; or Borovitskaya.
One of the best-known opera venues in Moscow. Tickets range from 100 to 3,000 RUR.
+7 (495) 695-65-84
Closest metro: Arbatskaya
- Tchaikovsky Concert Hall
Moscow’s most famous classical music venue, often features top international stars.
+7 (495) 699-39-57
Triumfal’naya Pl. 4
Closest metro: Pushkinskaya
- Moscow Conservatory
A prestigious educational institution with high-quality concerts in classical music.
+7 (495) 629-20-60
Bolshaya Nikitskaya Ul 13
Closest metro: Arbatskaya
Tickets usually go on sale at least 60 days in advance, and may be sold up to a year in advance for major performances. It is advisable to buy them as soon as possible. There are a variety of ways to buy tickets to Moscow’s best performances. They are listed here in order of cost – lowest to highest.
- At the venue: The cheapest way to obtain tickets is to buy them directly at the theatre or other venue where they will take place, well in advance. However, this can be difficult at times as hours of ticket booth operations are limited and constantly changing. Most theatre web sites have English-language pages where you can verify current hours of operation (see above.) Some theatres will also allow you to order tickets on their web sites, and have them delivered to you for an additional fee.
- At ticket kiosks: Moscow’s ticket kiosks are known as teatraliniye kassy and can be found all over town and inside metro stations. They are open from 10:00 to 20:00, and are very conveniently accessible. Staff will speak Russian only and you must pay cash. You will pay slightly more than face value for a ticket purchased here.
- Online from Russian vendors: A number of sites have popped up lately that allow you to book tickets online. Note that this is a reservation, not a purchasing service, and that you will still have to receive hard-copy tickets and pay for them in cash. Most vendors offer both pick-up and delivery options. Note that in addition to the stated booking fee, the cited face value price for tickets is also usually mysteriously high on these sites. Nevertheless, it can be a quick and easy option if you take advantage of the delivery service, especially if your particular theatre does not offer the same. One vendor has an English version of its site, which, although the translation for event descriptions is often incomplete, can be navigated by a non-Russian-speaker: http://www.kassir.ru/en/Note: Many American or international web sites also purport to sell tickets, with credit card payment online, to Moscow’s theatre and ballet events. While some of these are legitimate, you will almost certainly pay a high premium – and fake sites selling ticket forgeries abound.
- At hotels: All major hotels in Moscow sell tickets to the theatre. You do not have to be a guest to take advantage of hotels ticket booths. It’s often possible to pay by credit card, although this will involve an additional processing fee above the already-high commission on the ticket.
Your best resources for cultural entertainment, in English, are the English-language versions of the web sites provided. For an overview of what’s showing in town, also try the following publications:
This monthly English-language newspaper features the latest news on the Moscow entertainment and culture scene. It can be picked up free around town, or accessed online.
- Moscow in Your Pocket
This free English-language guide is published every two months, can be picked up around town or downloaded free. Includes event reviews.
- Moscow News
This free English-language newspaper is published weekly and can be picked up at restaurants, business centers, medical centers, and hotels across Moscow. It’s also available online. It has Culture, Cinema, Theatre, Concerts, and Exhibitions listings.
- Moscow Times
This weekly English-language newspaper, has a “What’s On” section that lists movies playing across the theatres of Moscow. For each movie, it specifies the soundtrack and any subtitles languages. The Arts & Ideas Feature also provides suggestions for cultural entertainment.
- Passport Magazine
A free monthly publication, with sections on foreign language films, clubs, and Moscow events. Also has an online edition.