Summer Guide: Sydney’s Best Outdoor Cinemas

Food Guide, Play, Sydney / October 31, 2019

Take your pick of Sydney’s best outdoor cinemas for summer this year.

Those summer nights! Danny and Sandy make a completely justified appearance here, as we go through a list of the best outdoor cinemas Sydney has to offer. From drive-ins and camping to seaside cinematic experiences. Grab your picnic basket, your sturdiest deckchair or your convertible rooftop, and read on.

Westpac Openair Cinema Summer 2020

WestPac OpenAir

Running Thursday January 9th 2020 – Friday February 21st 2020

The beautiful outdoor harbourside cinema returns to Mrs Macquaries Point in the Royal Botanic Gardens this summer. Drawing sell-out crowds of more than 2,000 people each night, this massive 350 square metre screen rises from the harbour to delight audiences with a program of premiere and preview screenings. Plus, grab all the movie snacks you’ll need from the pop-up cinema’s harbourside restaurant, serving share plates, meals, gourmet desserts plus  cocktails, wine, beer and spirits. Although the full 2020 season program is yet to be released, click here to stay up to date with the latest announcements.

Movin Bed Outdoor Cinema Summer 2019

Movi’n bed Outdoor Cinema

Running Friday January 17th to Sunday 8th March 2020.

Whether you’re feeling lazy, tired or just immortally hungover, we all appreciate those nights spent curled up in bed and watching your favourite movie. Now, thanks to Mov’in Bed, your favourite method of relaxation constitutes as a night out! The Showring inside the Entertainment Quarter will house movie buffs and those who enjoy a night lazing in bed, with 150 queen beds at the ready for their spring and summer showings. Every bed includes pillows, a luminous bedside table and a blanket, perfect for a balmy Sydney evening.

Amex Openair Cinema 2019

American Express Openair Cinemas, Pyrmont 

Pyrmont screenings running 1st November until 8th December 2019.

Openair Cinemas are coming to ten cities across Australia and New Zealand, including, of course, the glorious city of Sydney. Setting up in both Pyrmont and Cadigal Green at Sydney University, this cinema experience promises to be more than just a movie and popcorn affair. Taking advantage of the summer vibes, Openair Cinemas will be pumping out live music in addition to the popular flicks. The best bit? The cinema is dog-friendly too.

Full programs available here 

Flickerfest Summer Cinema 2020

Flickerfest, Bondi Beach

January 11th – January 19th, 2020.

Flickerfest is Australia’s leading competitive short film festival. Coming up to its 28th year, filmmakers know that it’s a must-visit on the International Short Film Festival calendar. Held at Bondi Pavilion on Sydney’s iconic Bondi Beach, the festival celebrates the best of short films from Australia and around the world. Following the Festival in Sydney, a selection of films will go on tour to 50+ capital cities and regional centres around Australia.

Moonlight Cinema 2020 Summer Cinema

Moonlight Cinema, Centennial Park

Running 28th November 2019 – 29st March 2020.

Another grande dame of the outdoor cinema circuit is the Moonlight Cinema. Plaid picnic blankets have been rolled out over the Belvedere Amphitheatre in Centennial Parklands for years. Advance screenings, new releases and cult films are all shown. A fully licensed bar, candy bar, and LA Style Food Truck caters for all your cinematic snack needs. You can also take your own picnic and bring any food or drink (including alcohol) you’d like. Gold Class takes the form of ‘Gold Grass’ ($35), where the VIP treatment includes entry, your own Bean Bed, and food and beverage service. Those summer movie dates just reached a new level!

Movies by the Boulevard, Sydney Olympic Park

Running January 2020.

Movies by the Boulevard is a relaxed, family-friendly film fest, which also happens to be FREE. On selected nights there are even kids’ activities but make sure to check what’s screening as not all movies are appropriate for kiddies. Arrive early to enjoy a range of tasty food, drinks and snacks available for purchase, or pack a picnic and rug or low chair and have a leisurely evening.

Outdoor Cinemas Skyline Drive-in Blacktown

Skyline Drive-In, Blacktown

Running daily.

Nostalgia meets Hollywood glam at Sydney’s last remaining drive-in Skyline Drive-In Blacktown. Originally built in the 1960s, the twin-screen venue went through a massive revamp a few years ago and was transformed into an ode to retro Americana, but with all the mod cons. The Blacktown Drive-In is part of Event Cinemas, so you’ll catch all the latest Hollywood films released in theatres, but from the comfort of your car. You can also bask under the moonshine on a ‘Grass Class’ deck chairs. When those hunger pains strike, hit up the Happy Days-style diner for a burger, hotdog, malt shake, spider or banana split.

Outdoor Cinemas sunsetcinema

Sunset Cinema

2020 program dates coming soon!

The Sunset Cinema has two convenient suburban locations! North Sydney Oval is home to the North Sydney location. Here, a local landmark is lit up by a large screen and luminous residents. Wollongong Botanic Gardens are also rewarded with the wonderful outdoor cinemas passionate about community fun! With screenings ranging from the newest Hollywood blockbusters to the oldest classics and retro favourites, Sunset Cinema have perfected the outdoor cinemas under the stars, and brought them to the suburbs!

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