There are more excellent films coming out every month than we can count! While on your tour to Israel, if you suddenly feel like relaxing in a movie theatre and watching a good film – be it an Israeli film or a documentary, a foreign movie, or Hollywood blockbusters – with popcorn in one hand and soda in the other, Tel Aviv’s got you covered. Let’s take a look at the best cinemas in and around Tel-Aviv you will surely enjoy.
Opened in 1973, the Tel Aviv Cinematheque is a cultural landmark. It is home to five auditoriums, showing over 1,500 films annually, to 60,000 visitors monthly, every day of the week! Their programme includes the newest releases (both fiction and documentaries) and cult classics, but also academic lectures and conventions with international artists, actors, and filmmakers. The Cinematheque also hosts many brilliant festivals, including the Icon Festival for Science Fiction, Fantasy and Role-Playing, the SPIRIT Film Festival, Doc Aviv – the International Documentary Film Festival, the Animix festival of animation, comics and caricature, the Ori Sonin “Clip Tza’ir” music video competition, the International Children and Youth Film Festival, TLVFest – the Tel Aviv International LGBT Film Festival, the Jazz Festival, etc. After watching a film, have something to drink or eat at the Cinematheque’s café or restaurant.
The Cinematheque considers themselves an educational organization that promotes film literacy and a love of cinema. Israel’s only film periodical, “Cinematheque”, is published by this cinema for its members, while the Cinematheque’s Film Archives and Information Center houses the former Israeli Film Institute’s entire library, as well as 35,000 videotapes, CDs and DVDs, 10,000 books, thousands of magazines, and hundreds of newspaper clippings, photographs, and posters.
Located on Dizengoff Square, the much-loved Rav Chen is part of the Rav Chen cinema chain, still owned and managed by the Israeli Theatres. It opened its doors in 1950 as a single-screen cinema, called the Hen Cinema. It grew quickly and became known as a luxurious cinema that shows Hollywood hits. Interestingly, it’s supported by the Bauhaus Centre, which is an organization working to incorporate the Bauhaus tradition into Tel Aviv’s cultural and artistic landscape. The Cinema itself was designed in the German Bauhaus style, which is typical to Tel Aviv buildings of the time, especially those in the Dizengoff Square area. In 1982, Hen Cinema changed its name to Rav-Chen (Multiple-Chen) and it was divided into six screens, with the biggest one preserving the old 738 seats. Given such a high number of seats, Rav-Chen is a regular host to numerous premieres. It is open seven days a week and shows all types of movies. You will definitely find a film to enjoy.
Lev Cinema is located in the center of Tel Aviv, on the third floor of one of the most popular shopping malls, Dizengoff Center. The mall has three hundred stores, numerous restaurants, and cafes, a myriad of entertainment options, and it’s a fantastic place to enjoy the authentic side of Tel Aviv as a melting pot. The movie theatre is part of Lev Cinema chain established in 1982, by producer Izzo and his wife Nurit Shani. Today, it’s run by their son, Guy Shani, who shares his parents’ goal of bringing the best quality, original films to Israel. Lev Cinema has six screens, showing all genres of movies, numerous top box-office films, Hollywood blockbusters, and indie European works of art, in all languages and all with Hebrew subtitles. An emphasis is placed on an intimate experience and comfort in this cinema, so rooms are smaller and quieter. It’s opened seven days a week and, besides amazing prices, as a part of the subscription you can get a ticket at a reduced price, receive a birthday gift, special benefits, etc. Discounts for couples, pensioners, veterans, the hearing-impaired, and others, are also available.
If you are looking for huge multiplexes, you’ll need to go out of Tel Aviv. Don’t worry! You can get there easily by public transport.
Yes Planet Ayalon, located in Ayalon Mall in Ramat Ganis, is a part of the Rav Chen cinema chain. Opened in 2012, it’s Israel’s largest cinema complex, with twenty-six screens and over 3,600 seats with the most legroom. It has VIP areas and IMAX screens. It’s adjacent to the Superland amusement park, and a five-minute drive away, you’ll find several large shops and malls, including Ikea. The cinema is open every day and is accessible by public transport, or by car. Don’t worry about parking – there are over 2,000 parking spots available.
Cinema City Glilot (Ramat HaSharon) is another fantastic and huge complex, located between Tel Aviv and Herzliya. It has twenty-five screens, the largest of which has 349 seats, an IMAX compatible screen, as well as special VIP screens which include a buffet, drinks, and comfortable seats. It even has its own mall. It’s open seven days a week and is easily accessible by car or bus, and most sheruts heading north will stop here if you ask them.