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8 Best Outdoor Cinema Sydney 2024

21/11/2023
6 mins read
Westpac OpenAir Cinema
Source: Westpac OpenAir Cinema

Experience the magic of cinema under the stars in Sydney with our guide to the best outdoor cinemas in the city. From the stunning Moonlight Cinema in Centennial Parklands to the nostalgic Skyline Drive-In Blacktown, Sydney offers a variety of unique and memorable movie-watching experiences. Enjoy the breathtaking views of Sydney Harbour at the Westpac OpenAir Cinema or relax on a bean bag at the American Express Openair Cinemas in Bondi. Whether you’re a film buff or just looking for a fun night out, these outdoor cinemas provide the perfect setting for an unforgettable evening. So, grab your popcorn, snuggle up under a blanket, and get ready to be captivated by the enchanting world of outdoor cinema in Sydney.

Best Outdoor Cinema Sydney at a Glance

Our list of best outdoor cinemas in Sydney goes like this:

1. Westpac OpenAir Cinema

The Westpac OpenAir Cinema is a stunning cinema experience set on Sydney Harbour. It offers an alfresco evening with waterside drinks and dining as the sunsets. The cinema experience is unlike any other, with flowers cascading from the entrance, pink umbrellas, cocktails, bubbles, ice creams, chocolate, complimentary coffees, and meals aplenty from oysters to fish and chips. The cinema features restaurants, bars, and a 1600 seat cinema all set on the edge of the gorgeous harbour. At nightfall, a giant three-storey high screen rises from water level, creating an extraordinary summer cinema experience.

The Westpac OpenAir Cinema offers a program of premieres, previews, new releases, and classics. It has screened many highlights and wonderful nights, including Frances O’Connor introducing Emily, Jemima Khan and Shekhar Kapur unveiling the gorgeous What’s Love Got To Do With It, and Cinema Paradiso on a hot Saturday night. The audience even sang along to You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling as 1986 Mav falls for his instructor.

2. Moonlight Cinema Sydney

Moonlight Cinema Sydney is a fantastic outdoor cinema experience located at Belvedere Amphitheatre, Centennial Park, Paddington. This cinema offers a unique experience of watching new releases and cult classics in an open-air amphitheatre. You can enjoy a food truck and bar on-site, or even bring your own food. The cinema is surrounded by stunning greenery, making it a perfect spot to enjoy a summer evening under the stars with friends and family. The cinema opens again on November 23, 2023.

Moonlight Cinema Sydney is easily accessible by public transport with many buses from the CBD, Central Station, and the Eastern Suburbs stopping near the park. Bondi Junction train station is also a 20-minute walk away. If you prefer to drive, cars can enter and exit the park via Woollahra and Paddington Gates. Limited free parking is available, and mobility parking is available inside Woollahra Gates on Carrington Dr.

3. Skyline Drive-In Blacktown

Skyline Drive-In Blacktown is a blast from the past, offering a nostalgic movie experience that’s hard to find elsewhere. Located at Cricketers Arms Road, Blacktown, this drive-in cinema is a unique way to enjoy a movie under the stars from the comfort of your own car. The cinema features a retro 50s-themed diner serving classic food and drinks, and a candy bar for all your movie snacks. The cinema screens a mix of the latest blockbusters and classic films, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

Skyline Drive-In Blacktown is the only drive-in cinema in Sydney, making it a unique and memorable experience. The cinema is open seven days a week, and tickets can be purchased online or at the gate. The cinema also hosts special events, including classic car nights and themed movie nights.

4. Mov’In Boat

Mov’In Boat is a unique outdoor cinema experience that takes place on the water. This cinema offers a one-of-a-kind movie-watching experience, with films screened on a floating screen while the audience watches from boats, kayaks, or paddleboards. The Floating Cinema is a pop-up event that takes place at various locations around Sydney, so be sure to check their website for the latest information on upcoming screenings.

The Mov’In Boat Cinema offers a diverse selection of films, including new releases, classics, and independent films. The event also features food and drink options, making it a fun and memorable night out on the water. Whether you’re a movie buff or just looking for a unique way to spend an evening, the Floating Cinema is a must-try experience.

5. Mov’in Bed Open Air Cinema

Mov’in Bed Open Air Cinema is an innovative outdoor cinema experience that combines the comfort of a bed with the magic of watching a movie under the stars. Located at the Entertainment Quarter in Moore Park, this cinema offers a unique and luxurious way to enjoy your favorite films.

Mov'in Bed Open Air Cinem
Source: Mov’in Bed

The Mov’in Bed Open Air Cinema features a lineup of new releases, classics, and cult films, ensuring there’s something for everyone. The cinema also offers food and drink options, including a gourmet menu and a fully licensed bar. With comfortable beds, cozy blankets, and pillows, this cinema experience is perfect for a romantic date night or a fun night out with friends.

6. Flickerfest Bondi Beach

Flickerfest Bondi Beach is Australia’s leading Academy® Award accredited and BAFTA-recognised Short Film Festival. It is held under the summer stars at the iconic Bondi Beach in January. The festival celebrates the most innovative, creative, and cutting-edge short films from Australia and around the world.

Flickerfest Bondi Beach
Source: Flickerfest

Flickerfest Bondi Beach is more than just a film festival; it’s a community event that brings together filmmakers, film lovers, locals, and visitors for a celebration of short film. The festival also includes industry and public forums, filmmaker Q&A sessions, and networking events.

7. Sunset Cinema North Sydney

Sunset Cinema North Sydney offers a perfect way to watch movies under the stars. Located on Miller Street, North Sydney, this outdoor cinema operates from January 11 to April 1. The cinema gates open at 6:30 PM, and the film starts at last light. The cinema is family-friendly, but please be aware that some films are classified MA15+ or R18+.

Sunset Cinema
Source: Sunset Cinema North Sydney

Sunset Cinema North Sydney is easily accessible with street parking available. In addition, Ridge Street Carpark is a couple of minutes walk away. The cinema also offers a range of seating options available to hire online and sometimes at the venue. The cinema is fully licensed with a fantastic range of food and drinks available every screening night.

8. American Express Openair Cinemas – Bondi

The American Express Openair Cinemas is returning to Bondi for a full month of cinema under the stars. Ticket holders can enjoy more than just movies, with an epic combination of gourmet cuisine, refreshing beverages, live music from local Sydney talent, and a refreshing sea water aroma from Australia’s most iconic beach. American Express Card Members are invited to treat themselves to the ultimate VIP experience, with 15% off selected tickets plus exclusive access to the American Express Garden.

American Express Openair Cinemas
Source: American Express Openair Cinemas

Everyone is welcome to level up their movie night with Prime Video Lounge tickets. The venue is located at the Bondi Pavilion, supporting two screens to cater for Bondi’s large audiences. The event provides a dog-friendly space with a special picnic platter for your pooch, making this year’s event a must for everyone.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best outdoor cinema in Sydney for new releases and cult classics?

Moonlight Cinema Sydney in Centennial Parklands is a great choice for new releases and cult classics.

Which outdoor cinema in Sydney offers a drive-in movie experience?

Skyline Drive-In Blacktown provides a nostalgic drive-in movie experience.

Are there any free outdoor cinemas in Sydney?

Movies by the Boulevard is a free outdoor cinema option in Sydney.

Can I bring my own food and drinks to outdoor cinemas in Sydney?

Some outdoor cinemas, like Moonlight Cinema Sydney, allow you to bring your own food and non-alcoholic drinks. However, it’s best to check the specific cinema’s policy before attending.

Are outdoor cinemas in Sydney family-friendly?

Most outdoor cinemas in Sydney are family-friendly, but be aware of film classifications and age restrictions for certain movies.

Hafiz Kashif

Kashif, our associate writer at HumbleTrail, brings stories from across the globe to our readers. Originating from Pakistan, his journey has taken him through the vibrant cityscape of Dubai and now to the diverse and cultural melting pot of Melbourne, Australia.

His writing is a reflection of his own journey - rich in diverse experiences and filled with the excitement of discovering new places. Melbourne, with its unique blend of cultures and bustling energy, has captured Kashif's heart, a sentiment that deeply resonates in his work.

Kashif's articles for HumbleTrail are more than just travel logs; they are narratives that weave together the beauty of diverse cultures and the thrill of exploration, inviting readers to see the world through his eyes.

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