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Movie nights at the Elbe river

Every year in Dresden all cinema fans have a unique opportunity to enjoy their hobby along with thousands of like-minded people. During two summer months, thousands of Dresden residents and guests gather to watch all sorts of movies and shows in the open air. Therefore, the film nights on the banks of the Elbe is one of the most spectacular open-air cinema festivals in Europe and the largest event of this kind in Germany.

Movie nights at the Elbe river

Movie nights at the Elbe river

When and where

The open-air cinema Dresden was opened in 1991, when the films were shown to the general public on the Elb meadows. And to this day the concept of the event hasn’t changed, it still takes place at the same location - so much the city dwellers liked the event. Even though it seems simple, it still can be a fascinating experience - to sit on the bank of the legendary Elbe, scrutinize the illuminated Old Town, breathe the warm summer air and enjoy a classic movie or modern blockbuster on a huge screen, surrounded by thousands of other viewers.

For more than 25 years, two summer months in Dresden have been devoted to legendary movie nights. In 2018, the festival will be held from June 27th to August 26th, with various events taking place almost every night on the open-air stage. The Königsufer - a flat area in the city center that extends below the Ministry of State between the Carola Bridge and Green Vault - was originally chosen as a venue. Among the townspeople, the location has long been known as the "Filmnächte-Areal" and is particularly popular because of a wonderful view of the historic part of the state capital on the other side of the Elbe.

Screen at Movie nights on the Elbe river

As part of the open-air festival in Dresden, all sorts of historical and modern movies are screened along with the concerts involving German and world famous artists. R.E.M., Loreena McKennitt, Roxette, Unheilig, Sarah Connor, The Fantastic Four, Rammstein, James Brown, Joe Cocker, Sting, and Nelly Furtado all brought down the house here.

The largest number of visitors in recent years was reached on the performances of the Berlin band "Die Ärzte" (2013), Kaisermania or 4-day concert by Roland Kaiser (2016) as well as such films as "Fack ju Göhte" (2014), “Breakfast at Monsieur Henri "(2016) and "La La Land" (2017).

Roland Kaiser, Kaisermania

Roland Kaiser

Special features

Every year increasingly more people come to the Elbe to one of the open-air events. Of course, this sets very high requirements on the organizers, who on one hand are responsible for the comfort and safety of the spectators and on the other hand also should organize an electrifying and spectacular event. Since 2009 there is also a comprehensive gastronomic offer, in addition, every year the organizers work on seating area improving and rain protection.

The cinema area can accommodate up to 15,000 visitors who come to cheer their favorite stars here. There are 3500 seats, and 12000 fans can enjoy the live concerts. About 400 spectators can find place in the restaurant area - the so-called movie garden - which is roofed and therefore protected from rain.

The cinema area of Movie nights at the Elbe river, Dresden

There are different cool drinks served in abundance such as beer, cocktails and snacks such as pizza or currywurst with fries. This is the perfect place for those who are a little hungry. Here you can treat your palate before the movie starts or just chill dance to the beat of the music. This year, the organizers expect to host 200,000 guests and hope to break the former visitor record again.

If you want to visit a classic movie or a concert of your favorite band, enjoy a variety of delicacies and refreshing drinks and contemplate a priceless view of the tranquil Elbe and the historic scenery of the old town, then book a table in the covered movie nights lounge. It is also well suited for corporate events, but you should not schedule an event for more than 40 people for organizational reasons.
Snacks - Movie nights at the Elbe river Drinks - Movie nights at the Elbe river

The technical progress of the last decades is also noticeable here, and the scope of the whole event can already be recognized by the size of the big screen. 32 meters wide and 14 meters high, with a projection area of 448 square meters, it is the largest mobile screen in the world. Despite its huge size, it is multifunctional and easy to handle: during the day or at the risk of flooding, it can be retracted, rotated 90 degrees and used as a stage roofing.

The program of movie nights at the Elbe river 2018

The 2018 program looks very promising and seems to be well received by both children and adults. It ranges from concerts and performances of ingenious musicians and most famous bands, legendary movie classics and potential blockbusters of the year to cabaret shows and comedy slam. Choose the event that suits your taste and which you don’t want to miss, and get the tickets in advance!

Date Time Type of event Name Commentary Tickets
Wednesday, June 27 20:00 Concert Queens of the Stone Age The famous American rock band "Queens of the Stone Age" comes with their last album "Villains" on tour and they will visit Germany in June 2018. 56,50 €
Friday, June 29 16:30 Concert Gerhard Schöne - Lass uns eine Welt erträumen Already two generations grew up listening to the children's songs of this German musician. At the moment he fascinates old and young with his classics like "Jule wäscht sich nie" and "Der Popel" as well as with the new hits, which he will perform on the Movie Nights in Dresden together with Ralf Benschu (saxophone and clarinet) and Jens Goldhardt (organ). Adults: 13,72 €; children up to 12 y.o.: 10,06 €
Friday, July 13 20:00 Concert Dieter Thomas Kuhn & Band An extravagant and extraordinary musician from the nineties again provides for positive emotions and prepares this time a colorful and varied program Für Immer Und Dich Tour 2018" for his fans. 38 €
Saturday, July 21 21:30 Movie + Party The Big Dirty Dancing Night An eternal love story of the 17-year-old girl from the affluent family and the dance teacher Johnny, played brilliantly by seductive Jennifer Gray and heartthrob Patrick Swayze. Experience an immortal classic on the biggest movie screen in the world. 11,82 €
Sunday, July 22 17:00 Concert Rainald Grebe & Die Kapelle der Versöhnung "Das Wigwamkonzert" – Summer tour 2018 The cabaret band "Die Kapelle der Versöhnung" will play already popular hits as well as new songs by their brilliant founder Rainald Grebe. Thrilling folk motives, energetic rock music as well as inspiring lyrics prepare all admirers of this wonderful band a lot of fun. 32,85 €
Friday, July 27 19:30 Concert The Kelly Family At the end of July the band will give a great live concert on the beautiful banks of the Elbe against the backdrop of the old town. Since the program includes spectacular performances with the use of fireworks, the most modern lighting effects and traditional confetti rain, an unforgettable evening is guaranteed for all fans of probably the largest musical family. Regular price
Thursday, August 2 20:30 Concert COMEDYSLAM Royal Do you have a good sense of humor and love to laugh your head off? Then, be sure to visit Comedyslam Royal, where five prominent German slammers compete with each other to show off their comedy skills and demonstrate the ability to make a thousand-fold audience laugh. 13,30 €
Friday, August 3 20:00 Concert Kaisermania 2018 The famous German pop singer Roland Kaiser is going on a big tour through East Germany this summer and in August he performs four times in Dresden. The grounds of the film nights on the banks of the Elbe take on an incredible number of guests - last year that was 48,000 (!) visitors, which accounted for almost a quarter of all guests of the two-month event. The tickets for four concerts of Kaisermania 2018 were sold out in September of last year within 30 minutes. So you can safely say that this year's performances of Roland Kaiser will be a bombshell. Sold out
Saturday, August 4
Friday, August 10
Saturday, August 11
Saturday, August 18 20:00 Concert 100% SCOOTER – 25 YEARS WILD & WICKED TOUR – OPEN AIR SHOW 2018 Electronic dance music will be represented at the Dresden Open Air Festival in 2018, especially by the German band Scooter. With 23 songs in the top ten of the German single charts, nearly one hundred awards and millions of loyal fans around the world, the Scooter trio is one of the most popular producers of high-speed music. 53,55 €
Sunday, August 19 20:00 Concert Santana The concerts of Carlos Santana always seem like an explosion of love, humanity and the desire to peace, which hits the audience and stays in hearts for a long time. The mix of pop, rock, jazz and soul characterize his unique artistic style that have already won millions of fans worldwide. If you love Latin rock music, you should definitely buy tickets of Santana's performance in August. 80,40 €
Tuesday, August 21 20:00 Concert + Movie PREMIERE Gundermann + Konzert Dresden I Prahl und Band To honor the legendary Gerhard Gundermann, his most beautiful hits will be performed for Dresden citizens and the guests of the city by Andreas Dresen, Alex Prahl and their band. After the concert, the premiere of the film "GUNDERMANN" by Andreas Dresen, which is dedicated to the ingenious work of the songwriter. The script was written by Laila Stieler and the main actors are Alexander Scheer, Axel Prahl, Thorsten Merten, Bjarne Mädel and Milan Peschel. 21,04 €
Friday, August 24 20:00 Concert A-HA – Electric Summer 2018 On their Electric Summer Tour 2018, the world-famous Norwegian pop band returns to Germany and this time they will fascinate their fans with a large electro set, well-known classics from their repertoire and completely new songs. Come to the open-air area between the Carola and Augustus Bridge on the 24th of August and experience it first-hand. 74,50 €
Saturday, August 25 17:30 Concert Kraftklub The German rock band, whose musical style is characterized by the of chanting, is now on their big tour in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and in many other cities, and all tickets are sold out long ago. With 3 studio albums, hundreds of successful headliner shows and many gold and platinum awards Kraftklub is one of the most successful music groups in this country. In August, the rockers prepared a colorful open-air concert "No Summer For Nobody" for the visitors of the cinema festival on the banks of the Elbe. Sold out
Sunday, August 26 17:00 Concert ANNA MATEUR & DES WAHNSINNS FETTE BEUTE 15-year stage anniversary Born in Dresden, Anna Mateur will be presenting a new and, as always, exclusive and inspiring entertainment program to the residents and guests of her hometown. Thus, she wants to celebrate her 15th stage anniversary at a summer event and inspire the audience with a spectacular performance. With the accompaniment of stunning lyrics, songs and the acting of Anna Mateur, you can have really great time. 18,18 €

Tickets & directions

The tickets for each event can be purchased either online or at the well-known ticket agencies. In addition to traditional tickets, a set of five tickets is also offered. With this set you can visit five events or watch 5 different movies on the open-air stage. However, you should take into account that the 5-ticket set is not valid for concerts, does not guarantee a seat and does not allow to visit a movie that is already sold out.

For 8.80 € you can buy the voucher for a long-awaited visit to the cinema on the banks of the Elbe and make a nice gift for a loved one.

The Film Nights areal can be easily reached on foot, by bicycle, by public transport or by car. The site is located on the Königsufer and can be reached from the historic district via the Carola or Augustus Bridge. If you come with a bicycle, you can park it at one of the two entrances, where about 200 parking spaces are provided for this purpose.

The car owners should notice that the driveway directly to the site is not possible, so you have to park the car at the parking lot in the Wigardstraße about 200 meters away. Other recommended parking spaces are located in Theresienstraße, Sarrasanistraße and Schießgasse. However, the number of parking spaces is strictly limited, so it would be reasonable to take care of it beforehand.

Location map - Movie nights at the Elbe river

Area map

The dense tram network Dresden is quite well thought out, so you can get almost from all parts of the city to the site of the Movie Nights. At Neustädt train station or central station take tram line 3, which goes to the stop Carolaplatz. Tram lines 7 and 8 also go there. Another stop, which is located within the walking distance of the Film Nights area, is called "Neustädter Markt" and can be reached by trams 4 and 9.


If you visit Dresden for a few days in the summer as a tourist or a businessman, HotelFriend recommends you to select and book the accommodation in advance. The reason is that July and August are well known among the city's inhabitants for the Film Nights, which means that hundreds of movie lovers as well as numerous fans of German and international artists usually take a short break and flock to the metropolis of Saxony. Therefore, the best hotels in Dresden are fully booked at this time of the year, and the tourists are put to the great expenses. But with the HotelFriend app you can book a very nice hotel room with all amenities for a reasonable price. Do not hesitate and let’s make your trip unforgettable!


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