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Classic Cinemas Rooftop
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The best outdoor cinemas in Melbourne

Catch cult classics and new releases under the stars this summer

Written by
Time Out editors
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During the warmer months, Melbourne's long days and balmy nights make for the perfect backdrop for an outdoor cinema. Which is exactly why Melbourne has so many of them. From 1950's 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 out favourites. 

Staying in? Here's what to watch on Australian streaming services this month.

Melbourne's open-air cinemas

  • Film
  • Outdoor cinema

From October 22

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. Lido's rooftop cinema returns October 22 2021, and the rooftop bar opens one hour before showtime for a pre-session tipple.

  • Film
  • Seaford

Runs all year round, reopens October 22

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. 

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  • Film
  • Outdoor cinema

From October 22

Belgrave's Cameo Cinemas operate an outdoor cinema every summer, showcasing a mix of epic summer blockbusters and arthouse films in among the green forests of the Dandenong Ranges. The outdoor cinema opens an hour before every film screening, giving moviegoers enough time to take in the breathtaking surroundings and grab treats like sweets from the Sassafras Sweet Co and hand-made choc-tops. Dogs are welcome to come too, just make sure to clean up after them. 

  • Film
  • Dandenong South

Runs all year round, reopens October 22

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. 

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  • Film
  • Outdoor cinema

Films from November 11, bar open from October 22

This rooftop cinema in Melbourne's south has comfortable director's chair seating on staggered levels, with plenty of space between groups. While Classic Rooftop is currently undergoing maintenance, it is expected to reopen November 11 with a 12.07 (0007 in 24 hour time) screening of Daniel Craig's final James Bond film, No Time to Die. In the meanwhile, you can still head up to its rooftop bar for drinks every afternoon from October 22.

Coburg Drive-In
  • Film
  • Coburg North

Runs all year round, reopens October 22

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. 

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From December

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. No exact date for the 2021 Moonlight Cinema season has been announced yet, though it is expected to kick off sometime in December.

  • Film
  • Coburg

From November 12

Pentridge Prison, once home to crims like Ned Kelly, Julian Knight, Chopper Reed and Squizzy Taylor, as well as luminaries like Indigenous actor Uncle Jack Charles, trade unionist Clarrie O'Shea and anti-nuclear campaigner John Dixon-Jenkins, has been turned into a retail and hospitality precinct. There is a 15-screen Palace Cinemas inside the new complex, but Palace has staged something of a jailbreak and brought the big screen outdoors for summer. 

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