It’s just the right time of year to be enjoying the great outdoors, but it’s not all swimming and paddle-boarding. If you’re a movie buff, or just enjoy taking a bit of time out for some good cinema style entertainment, then outdoor movies are the thing to do. Here are a few of our favourite places to take in the silver screen while you stretch out in the fresh air.
St George Open-Air Cinema
Fleet Steps, Mrs Macquarie's Chair
Tickets for one of the best-known open air cinemas have only just gone on sale, so get in quick to make sure you get a spot for your favourite movies. There’s a selection of new releases, and with the screen positioned over the harbour and viewers seated grandstand style on the foreshore, so you can’t ask for a more iconic setting for viewing Dallas Buyers Club, or Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. Food and drinks are available onsite, too.
January 10 – February 15, 2014
Belvedere Amphitheatre, Centennial Park, Paddington (Cnr Carrington Dive and Broome Ave)
With a season running from December to March, Moonlight Cinema on the lawns of Centennial Park is one of the most popular outdoor cinemas in Sydney. It’s known for screening classic and cult films alongside new releases, which means that you can go retro for a DIY picnic, or get up-to-date with your movie choices and order from the licensed in-house catering. This year they’re showing Dirty Dancing, Top Gun and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, as well as a bunch of new releases.
December 12, 2013- March 23, 2014
North Sydney Oval, Cnr Miller and Ridge Streets, North Sydney
With an expansive set-up on the lush green oval outfield, this is a picnic rug, beanbag and cushion-style event and you can hire appropriate seating at the venue too. There’s a mix of kid-friendly, new release and cult films, from Grease to The Wolf of Wall Street. Venue food offerings here include Maggie Beer gourmet hampers available for pre-purchase, or Crust pizza – ordered onsite and delivered to you within the venue. There’s no BYO, but there is a fully licensed bar on site for your refreshments.
January 17 - March 9, 2014
Wollongong Botanic Garden, Main Carpark, Murphy’s Avenue, Keiraville, Wollongong
Enjoying the movies outside is a great start, but it gets even better when it’s in Botanic Garden surrounds, and the fun isn’t just reserved for Sydney. Wollongong Sunset Cinema has a beautiful lush location and food offerings here are also courtesy of Maggie Beer gourmet hampers, or Crust Pizza – ordered onsite and delivered to you within the venue. No BYO, but you can get drinks at the fully licensed bar.
December 26, 2013 – February 15, 2014
Bondi Open Air Cinema
On the Dolphin Lawn, overlooking Bondi Beach, Sydney
If being out in the open air wasn’t enough for you, there’s a beachside location here as well, so you’ve got the best of summer. There’s a fully licensed bar (so no BYO) and there’s food available to purchase at the venue courtesy of Doughboy, but you can also bring a DIY picnic. You can hire beanbag chairs for added comfort. This year they’ve got some childhood retro classics showing, including Labyrinth and The Goonies, but there’s no lack of new releases including The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and American Hustle for your viewing pleasure.
January 24 – March 2, 2014
The Beresford Summer Movies
The Beresford Hotel
It’s back for another summer season - every Monday night the verdant courtyard at the Beresford becomes an intimate outdoor cinema screening an eclectic mix of classics and cult favourites. There’s a changing theme (from Laugh a Lot to Good Guys/Bad Guys) so keep an eye out for what’s coming up. And with great pub fare on offer- including lasagne and wine combos, it’s a great way to make the most of a balmy Monday evening.
Monday nights from December 2013 – April 2014
Silent Cinema at The Local Taphouse
Rooftop 122 Flinders Street, Darlinghurst
On the more unusual side, silent cinema at The Local Taphouse uses wireless headphones to keep the ruckus down when they screen a selection of much loved movies on their rooftop terrace. They’ve been doing it for a little while already this season, but it’s here while the good weather lasts, so get your $10 ticket (including a drink on arrival) and enjoy the starlight and relative silence, or slip on your headphones for Slumdog Millionaire, Catch Me if You Can and The Castle, to name a few.
Various Tuesdays and Wednesdays from December 2013 - February 2014
Strathfield Movies in the Park
Strathfield Park, Between Homebush and Chalmers Roads, Strathfield
It’s not often that you get something for free, but Movies in the Park at Strathfield is one of those rare treats. DIY snacks, picnic rugs and camp chairs are encouraged and there’s a family friendly vibe. There is no allocated seating though, so get in early to grab the best spots.
Various Saturdays from January 25 – April 12, 2014
Skyline Drive In Cinema
Cricketers Arms Road, Blacktown
Okay so you’re not quite outside if you’re in the car, but you aren’t quite indoors either are you? This is Sydney’s sole surviving drive in, and what better time to enjoy cinema from the novel comfort of the car than when sultry breezes can waft in the open windows. You can even enjoy the kitsch offerings of the 1950s style diner.
Daily - check cinema for screenings