There are plenty of outdoor cinemas in Melbourne, so a newcomer has to find a point of difference. For Ben & Jerry’s Openair Cinemas, it was a beachy St Kilda setting, live bands and, to further sweeten the deal, a mighty abundance of ice cream.

The annual event kicked off over the weekend with a sunset show from indie darling Bertie Blackman, with Melbourne locals Loon Lake lending support via their arsenal of sweet indie pop. The live tunes will be featured every week, taking you right through to sundown, when the screen lights up and the film starts rolling.

While films play almost every night of the week, make sure you get along to the ‘Sundae Sessions’ each Sunday, featuring live music events and free ice cream. Don’t be put off by the terrible pun – music, movies and free ice cream are nothing to scoff at.

This weekend, The Sapphires – the homegrown gem that received a 10-minute standing ovation at Cannes – will be screening along with Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie and the Grease sing-a-long.

Our picks for the rest of the program include classics like the Breakfast Club, new releases Seven Psychopaths, On the Road and Moonrise Kingdom. All are great films in their own right, but definitely made better with a tub of ‘Chunky Monkey’ under the stars.

Ben & Jerry’s Openair Cinemas starts this Sunday December 2 and runs until January 6 at the South Beach Reserve, next to the St Kilda Sea baths.

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Gates open at 6.30pm Tuesday to Friday and 6pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

For more information on session times and tickets, click here