Outdoor cinema season is back – and there are more options to choose from than ever. Are you keen for a classic garden cinema experience? Or what about an inner-city rooftop? You could even catch a film by the beach. These are our top choices of al fresco cinema in Melbourne. While you're planning your summer adventures, check out our favourite places to swim, and our tips on the best road trips from Melbourne.
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Melbourne's open-air cinemas
There's nothing quite like a film under the stars in the evening cool of the Botanic Gardens. Settle back with friends and family for a movie and BYO picnic on a balmy summer night, or let one of the food trucks take care of the snacks for you. Films to look out for include comedies Pitch Perfect 3 and Bad Moms 2 and old-school classics like Dirty Dancing and Back to the Future.
Catch a flick with a side of rooftop views. Critically acclaimed summer releases include Italian romance Call Me By Your Name, dark comedy Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, fantasy piece The Shape of Water, and James Franco in The Disaster Artist. Press rewind and get stuck into Lido's huge cult film offering, which will include screenings of classic flicks The Big Lebowski, Muriel's Wedding, The Lion King, Coming to America, Empire Records, Grease and plenty more.
After a sold-out season in 2017, Gourmet Cinema is returning to Caulfield Racecourse, bringing together Melbourne’s best restaurants with a line-up of your favourite films across the first two weekends in March. Each screening will be catered by four restaurants as well as one ‘hero restaurant’ heading up the whole thing, meaning that you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to picking out your movie-going treat. Each item on the menu takes inspiration from the film screening that night. This year’s line-up of films includes Top Gun, Little Miss Sunshine and Before Midnight.
Rooftop Cinema at Rooftop Bar screens cult classics and new releases each summer. The first part of the season kicks off with Blade Runner 2049 followed by a run of this year's biggest flicks including It, Baby Driver, Dunkirk and Mother! Cult classics like Stand by Me, Labyrinth, The Goonies, Back to the Future and Ferris Bueller's Day Off will bring up those 1980s feels and you'll be able to get amongst new release flicks like Goodbye Christopher Robin, Murder on the Orient Express and Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Fuel up from Rooftop Bar’s burger stand. The venue is fully licensed.
QV Melbourne presents a sun-drenched mix of al fresco film screenings, cocktails, bring-your-dog charity nights and special food offerings this summer. The summer program has been dubbed Flick Fest and will an eclectic line up of films. Bring your pals along on launch week to see Thelma and Louise, then there will be QV Cinema's famed doggie dress up nights on Feb 9 and 10 where pooches are encouraged to attend alongside their owners for a screening of Red Dog 2 and A Dog's Purpose. Ticket sales for both nights go to the Lost Dogs' Home and there'll even be free pet photography. Other screenings include Oscar favourites La La Land, Arrival, Get Out and Lion. QV Cinema is also one of the most affordable outdoor cinemas with tickets only $12 for deckchair hire and high-quality headphones.
It’s back! Park Cinema Docklands is popping up for another summer of outdoor movie delight. And did we mention it’s free? Dig out the trusty picnic rug and run don’t walk down to Buluk Park right in the middle of the picturesque Victoria Harbour. The screen will be set up right in front of the Library at the Dock every Friday night and feature films like Strictly Ballroom, Ethel & Ernest and Karate Kid, with the remaining three films of the season to be announced soon. There’ll be pre-movie entertainment on offer to enjoy as the sun goes down, then at dusk, it’s showtime. Tickets are free but extremely limited, so book yourself a spot soon to make sure you don’t miss out.
Always screening the latest releases, the Coburg Drive-In is just a short spell from Sydney Road and brimming with the feeling of old-timey movie outings. Rolling up to the gates, parking in front of the 33-metre screen, winding down the windows and tuning in to the FM broadcast – does it get more romantic?