It is open and colourful, serious and playful at the same time. For a good hour and a half it makes you forget about staring at the Balaton sunset, or at least it diverts your attention from it every now and then. The setting: Lake Balaton, starry skies, green hills and a screen the size of the giant trees lining the garden. First, we arranged a date on the northern shore, but we will be sure to check out the south as well. It is the unofficial queen of the Balaton summer: the outdoor cinema.

Fövenyes - the charming

We had heard a lot of great things about the Fövenyes Outdoor Cinema, and we had seen pictures, which made us fall in love with it instantly. When we arrived, we knew that we were lost, and the only thing on our mind ever since is when the next rendezvous is going to be. There are sunflowers at the end of each row of seats, and there is a box especially for children, which we were simply unable to resist, so we had to occupy it immediately. At the very back you can pick some basil and tomatoes to go with your freshly made popcorn. They don’t sell alcohol here, but feel free to sip on your homemade fröccs while watching the latest movies. Only after a good fifteen minutes, though, because no matter how exciting the film is, and there are some exciting ones for sure, you are definitely going to spend a little while admiring the cinema itself first.  

All this with a pinch of glee from Mátyás Pálffy, his partner and their baby, just a few months old, dreaming sweet dreams under the trees and the mosquito net baldachin. Along with the fans of the most recent mainstream movies, the alternative crowd gets its fix once a week, too. For example, Point Break, the cult film of surf and freedom enthusiasts was on one June evening. The Fövenyes Outdoor Cinema is a charming open-air venue with even more charming hosts.

Tickets: HUF 1,000

Révfülöp - the all-rounder

The good thing about Révfülöp: it has everything in one place. Those who love the beach can spend their every waking minute there. You can start off with a nice breakfast, but only after a refreshing morning dip, of course. Then lunch and dinner, and a little workout in between at the street workout station by the swings. There is no need to go anywhere else in the evening either, regardless of whether you have a meeting with friends or just a date with yourself. The star of evenings like these, the outdoor cinema is here as well, only a stone’s throw away. The silhouette of the giant trees and all the colours of the rainbow bouncing off of the large outdoor screen make the sunset even more magical around here.

Should you ultimately get bored of the view, or want to rest your eyes for a minute, look to your left and marvel at the Balaton and the horizon of the southern shore. It is worth taking your own fröccs with you here as well, but you will also find a handful of food stands right by the cinema. Due to the lakeside location a blanket could come in handy on chillier nights, but everything else is provided for the perfect date: the latest movies, colourful chairs and the smell of Lake Balaton.

Tickets: HUF 1,000

Alsóörs - the pub cinema

Sometimes you find yourself in a bind on summer evenings: should I go out and watch a good movie, or should I meet up with friends for a drink? The good new is that you do not have to choose anymore. Simply head on over to the Alsóörs Pub Cinema, a popular hang-out and just the place for a nice chat, where you won’t need a magic lamp to grant you three wishes. The movie screen is installed on the wall of a neighbouring house, with long rows of seats and tables set up for those wishing to quench their thirst with fröccs, old Hungarian films and a bit of company.

Just like the Balaton sunset, Hungarian movie classics, such as Cat City, are impossible to get enough of. Screenings are cancelled in case of rain, but the Pub Cinema is still worth a visit because of the cold drinks served at the Felsőkocsma (Upper Pub), and the furniture, reminiscent of something you would find in a house in the countryside. This is a definite must see offering must watch movies.

Tickets: HUF 400

Csopak - the free

The Forrás Outdoor Cinema in Csopak sits at the top of a green hill on the edge of the village, but it is still an integral part of the community.  You won’t even find a fence around the large screen and the red plastic seats, some of which have paled and taken on a romantic pink colour over the years. Drive-in theatre fans will also find what they are looking for here, as there is enough space on the massive lawn to park your car and stare at the screen – or each other. The schedule includes the latest premiers. We think you should put your plans for watching movies on hold until it is time to go on holiday to Lake Balaton, and enjoy a starry skied setting in Csopak instead of the air-conditioned rooms of a multiplex cinema.