A stories-high screen billows in the wind and reads, "Film Festival Wiener Rathausplatz 2014."
For two months in the summer, the Vienna Film Festival highlights the citys music scene. The festival features jazz, classical and pop performances from around the world.
The event is over twenty years old, according to the Festivals webpage. The page also boasts that "up to 700,000 from within Austria and abroad" come through Rathausplatz each summer for the films and food.
"The buildings are amazing," says Shane Ricketts. On a tour of Europe with his wife, Ricketts came all the way from Australia to travel the continent. He smokes a cigarette while the rain smacks hard against the tent high above him. Pointing in the direction of the Rathaus, he says, "In the last month, weve seen so many of these types of structures."
The Rathaus was constructed between 1872 and 1883, a masterpiece of architect Friedrich Schmidt. The city hall looms high over stalls and seats, glistening in the downpour.
To enter and watch films is free for the public (the Film Festival is sponsored in part by the city of Vienna). The food offering, though, may make those Euros that rattle in your pocket start to feel like coins from a carnival. Looking around the ring of booths, you see Austrian cuisine sold alongside American, Italian, and Persian.
What if one works in the booths during the Film Festival?
"We get everything for free," says Anita Gorgin, an economy student from Vienna who serves drinks at Restaurant Hafes. "Everything" means food and drinks from any of the stalls.
"Its a cool summer job," says Gorgins coworker Katerina Matin, also a student.
And then there is the beer. One stall sells festival-goers Ottakringer and Radler, among a slosh of others, straight from the tap. Done with your glass? Hand it to a waiter or set it on a table.
A suggestion: dont take food or drink into the auditorium. You may be approached by a kind but firm attendant who will ask you to take it back to the dining area.
Once you have eaten your fill, take a seat under the city lights and settle in. Each movie is preceded by a selected musical work, which plays through the auditoriums crisp sound system.
On July 4th, a selection of Beethovens piano sonatas performed by Andras Schiff drifted over folks who prepared for the film.
The main show on tap that Friday night was Carl Orffs Carmina Burana, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle.