A beautiful setting for this shining star among “Free” cinemas, yes gratis, hard to believe in 2010, where prices in the UK are hitting 12 to 15 pounds for just one ticket. Casa del Cinema is found in Villa Borghese at the Via Veneto entrance , a delightful building dating back to 1833 with a colourful past. It was restored in 2001 and has for the past 5 years been show-casing many foreign film festivals and is often the only place in Italy, where you will find the old black and white movies screened.
I first visited this germ back in 2005 during the first Roman Film Festival , where for a period of 2 weeks all Marcello Mastroianni’s film and documentaries with this much-loved actor was shown for free, all you had to do was stand in line before each show. I was there an hour before hand expecting hundreds of people to show up…… NO I was on my tot untill 10 minutes before it was to start. There are 3 screening rooms seating 126 ,64 and a small 35 seater, the seating is very comfortable and it is a super place to spend a few hours relaxing . During the hot summer months there are open air screenings, again free of charge and the best part ( nearly) is the DVD library from which you can choose a film for your very own private screening. Recently there have been complaints about the lack of Independent films makers being able to show their work, I hope that will be rectified soon. There is a lovely Cinecafe with friendly staff and good house wine ,again both in and outdoor service. The shop with all things cinema is worth a visit ,many books and DVDs are on sale here together with posters, cards and cinema trinkets.
I always enjoy Casa del Cinema such a free luxury.
Do not miss the little green wooden cinema a stones throw away ( no, I am not advocating stone throwing , that would be fawned upon) Cinema dei Piccoli it is a delightful children’s cinema by day and a cool adult cinema by night. With only 63 seats it is in the Guinness Book of Records as the smallest cinema in the world. See my separate blog entry.