Get us in your inbox

Rooftop Cinema
Photograph: Supplied

The best outdoor cinemas in Melbourne

Catch cult classics and new releases under the stars

Written by
Leah Glynn

During the warmer months, Melbourne's long days and balmy nights make for the perfect backdrop for an outdoor cinema. This is exactly why Melbourne has so many of them. From 1950s-style drive-ins to outdoor rooftop cinemas scattered across the suburbs, our city has plenty of locations to catch an al fresco film – these are just a few of our favourites. 

Love the comfort of an air-conditioned movie theatre? These are Melbourne's best cinemas.

Interested in a drive-in cinema instead? Here are the best ones in Melbourne. 

Melbourne's open-air cinemas

  • Film
  • Outdoor cinema

Catch a flick with a side of rooftop views at Lido Cinema's rooftop cinema, which hosts the latest films, themed screenings and classic flicks. This summer, catch new releases like Babylon and The Banshees of Inisherin, plus classics like 10 Things I Hate About You and The Big Lebowski. The rooftop bar opens one hour before showtime for a pre-session tipple.

  • Film
  • Seaford

Want a side of beachside charm with your cinema experience? Dromana’s drive-in cinema has been screening movies on its four screens since 1962. These days you can grab food from the on-site diner and watch a selection of classic flicks and new blockbusters. 

  • Cinemas
  • Melbourne

The delights of Curtin House are myriad and storeyed, but in summer it’s worth making a beeline all the way to the top, when the literally named Rooftop Bar becomes the Rooftop Cinema. The venue shows the latest releases, cult favourites and classic films, and why would you ever want to be stuck in a dark theatre when you can watch a movie against the gorgeous backdrop of Melbourne’s skyline? Rooftop Cinema is yet to reveal its plans for a 2023 season, but watch this space.

  • Film
  • Dandenong South

Opened in 1956, the Lunar Drive-in cinema in Dandenong is the largest drive-in in Australia. Films are shown every day except Christmas Day, and the Lunar Café is open for takeaway every night before and during the shows. We’ve heard that the award-winning chef cooks up the best hamburgers and hot jam dougnuts you can get at a cinema. 

Coburg Drive-In
  • Film
  • Coburg North

Make like a teenager of the 1950s and lie back on your car windscreen at one of Melbourne’s favourite drive-in cinema. You can roll on in, order your food from the retro diner via text message and enjoy brand-new flicks. 

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 nibbles for you. 

    You may also like
    You may also like

    The best things in life are free.

    Get our free newsletter – it’s great.

    Loading animation
    Déjà vu! We already have this email. Try another?

    🙌 Awesome, you're subscribed!

    Thanks for subscribing! Look out for your first newsletter in your inbox soon!