Free Silent Movies at Babylon Kino

Since it’s opening almost 90 years ago, Berlin’s Babylon Kino has been the place to be for a dose of old world glamour and arthouse magic. As a way of paying homage to its early beginnings as a silent move theatre, Babylon Kino started running free silent film screenings every Saturday night, about 15 years ago.

kino © Lloyd Dirks

A treat for night owls, the entrance fee is zero (free) in reference to the screening time 00.00. Those trying to sneak in after midnight can not be guaranteed entry so get there before 12 or miss out! Babylon Kino still retains much of its Art Deco charm and is unique in being the home to Berlin’s largest organ – the Philips Kino Orgel. Boasting 100 stops and 913 pipes, the organ is the only one of its kind to survive in Berlin and has accompanied many a silent film with music as well as providing sound effects such as car horns and ringing telephones.    

It was restored in 2001 and to make that task worthwhile, a permanent full time organist – Anna Vavilkilna was employed. Anna plays to introduce many films during daily screenings but she is the highlight of the silent film sessions every Saturday night as well, improvising lively music to accompany the classics being screened.

Upcoming films include two Charlie Chaplin films – The Gold Rush on Saturday 23rd December and City Lights in Saturday 30th December.Kino Babylon © Visit Berlin.de:Max Threlfall

Kino Babylon is at Rosa-Luxemburg-Straße 30 in Mitte (U Bahn Station Rosa Luxemburg Platz). The silent films nights are held every Saturday at midnight and entry is free.

There’s also lovely behind the scenes clip of the organ in action below.

Melinda Barlow is an Australian freelance writer and editor, based in Berlin since 2012. Melinda works with print and online media and has a natural curiosity that informs her work. She is passionate about travel and great content. She loves to write most about the world, its people and why we all do what we do.