Guides for Sydney movie lovers
Films in cinemas now in Sydney
Movie lists you'll love
Film events in Sydney
The best cinemas in Sydney
Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace
Without doubt the grandest cinema in Sydney, Cremorne’s Art Deco picture palace is a stunning step back in time. Built in 1935 by George Kenworthy, the top theatrical architect of the period, today’s version is even glitzier than the original thanks to a $2.5-million restoration some years back by owner and local TV celeb Mike Walsh. Each of the six auditoria has its own colour scheme and decor, but the 744-seat Orpheum is the true star of the show. It even has a genuine Wurlitzer cinema organ, which rises out of a stage pit on weekend evenings complete with flashing lights and a grinning organist. Expect a mix of mainstream US, British and Australian fare, with some art-house, special presentations and the occasional cabaret show.
Ritz Cinema Randwick
With a distinctive Art Deco design restored to its former 1930s glory and an impressive sound system, the six-screen Ritz cinema is both a local landmark and an excellent venue for catching the latest mainstream releases. Signs explain the regulations – no alcohol, bare feet, smoking or skateboards – which make sense if you hit the place in the afternoon after school’s out. In the evening the place attracts a different crowd, including film geeks who seek out the Ritz for its great acoustics and old-fashioned flair. Upstairs the inimitable Bar Ritz boasts a marble bar and balcony – perfect for pre- and post-film drinks. Bus 372, 373, 376, 377.
Golden Age Cinema
It was one of the most exciting new movie theatre openings in Sydney since, well, the golden age of cinema itself. Since 2013, the Golden Age Cinema and Bar has been the much-loved swank basement occupant inside the stunning Art Deco Paramount building on Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills. The building was constructed in 1940 as the offices of Paramount Pictures, with a basement theatrette for the previewing of movies to cinema owners. The space was utilised during World War II for the screening of news reels and informational films for the military. In its time, the building has been visited by such Hollywood stars as Bob Hope and Charlton Heston. The creators of Melbourne's Rooftop Cinema – Barry, Bob and Chris Barton – tried for many years to launch a similar rooftop project on top of the Paramount building. Frustrated by local residents' objections, they opted instead to convert the old screening room into a 60-seat cinema with an adjoining bar. Cinema seats from the 1940s were located in Switzerland and were installed in the space. Two vintage projectors remain on the premises, although the new cinema utilises a digital projector. As the boutique Golden Age Cinema, it screens both classic films and new releases as programmed by Kate Jinx, host of FBi's Picture Show. Alongside fine wines, high-quality cinema snacks are offered in the adjoining bar – expect the best sundaes ever – and chefs will pair menus with films. The building also houses Paramount Coffee Project, fr
Palace Norton Street Cinemas
Leichhardt's Palace Cinemas were fully refurbed in 2013 and now have eight auditoria, all licensed, and an impressive foyer with a lounge bar and café on site. Palace Norton Street plays host to some of the best annual film festivals such as the French, Spanish, Greek, German and Italian. It is also in close proximity to the eateries and vibrant culture of Norton Street.
Palace Central Cinemas
Opened in October 2017, Palace Central is a 13-screen complex within the Central Park Mall with multiple lounges and bar areas and sweeping views over one of Sydney’s most dynamic urban spaces. The cinema includes a large beer hall with local and international craft beers, a Champagne bar and an interactive wine wall. Food includes produce from leading provedores, including daily desserts from the local Brickfields bakery.
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Thrones! The Musical Parody
The night is dark, and full of... jazz hands. A far cry from Westeros’s blood-soaked wedding venues and questionable leadership choices, Thrones! The Musical Parody is a retelling of the epic story you know in a tone you don’t. It follows a group of Game of Thrones fans as they attempt to cheer up their friend, Linda (the only one among them who hasn’t seen the show) in the wake of her divorce by re-enacting all eight seasons – yup, it will include the final one! Shenanigans unfold as the group works through the overarching story and a cast of over 40 characters, singing catchy original showtunes with titles including ‘Stabbin'’, 'Hold the Door' and ‘You Know Nothing’. The show arrives brandishing five-star reviews from the Edinburgh Festival, where it has played for four consecutive years. It will premiere in Sydney on Wednesday, June 5 at the Playhouse and run for three weeks. Luckily, you don't have to pay the iron price – tickets start at $45 per person plus an $8.50 booking fee. Book yours on the Sydney Opera House website.
Judith Lucy Vs Men
There's a dilemma at the centre of Judith Lucy's show: should she continue to date men, despite her horrifying record, or, at 50, should she “hang up her vagina for good?” After a sell-out run in the Playhouse during February, she is returning for a final show in the Concert Hall On March 22. And you’ll be given the rare opportunity to have a hand in the fate of the popular comedian’s future romantic forays. “Because I have been doing this ridiculous job for so damn long, I’m in this really lucky position where some people have been coming to see me for a long time, and they know what’s going on in my life. And you know what? I want their input,” she says. So at the end of each show – after recounting her various relationships with men, well-worn stereotypes and her own desires, – Lucy will be asking audiences to vote on whether or not she should keep dating. Judith Lucy Vs Men is her first solo show since the Helpmann Award-winning Ask No Questions of the Moth in 2015, which you may have also caught on Stan in their One Night Stan series. If you managed to nab a ticket to her 2017 show with friend Denise Scott, you’ll know exactly why they’ve rightfully earned the People’s Choice Award at the Melbourne Comedy Festival. This show will be no less of a good time and its return to the Sydney Opera House is for one-night only. Head along if you're a fan of her trademark hilariously droll style – or even if you're not and just want to hold her future happiness in your hands.
Man of Constant Sorrow: A Tribute to the Music from O Brother Where Art Thou?
The Grammy-winning songs from the Coen Brothers’ modern classic movie O Brother Where Art Thou? will be played live at the City Recital Hall on Saturday, March 23. If you’ve been lacking a bit of banjo, fiddle or washboard in your life, this will be the perfect night out, and it comes with a line-up of local and award-winning blues and grassroots acts. Golden Guitar-nominated seven-piece the Morrisons will be joined by ARIA-award winners All Our Exes Live in Texas, alternative acoustic local duo Diamond Duck, musical-comedian Luke Escombe and Canadian-born musician Brian Campeau. Comedian and ABC mainstay Tommy Dean will be on hosting duties. The venue is famous for perfect acoustics, so you're in for an aural treat with this performance of the bluegrass, country, gospel, blues and folk music from the film. Tickets are selling fast, so don’t miss the chance to see this joyous and passionate collaboration, part of City Recital Hall’s 2019 season. Standard tickets range from $45-$55 and concession from $40-$50, with a discount for City Recital Hall members. Under thirties are lucky enough to get away with admission for $40, not including transaction fees.
Any Australian theatre geek worth their salt knows Bell Shakespeare. Its productions of the theatre world’s classics are renowned, and this March it's putting on the hilarious comedy of manners by French playwright, Molière, The Miser. First performed in 1668, The Miser follows the story of Harpagon, a tight-fisted and money-hungry man who loves cash more than he loves his own children. He’ll do anything to hold on to every last penny in his possession, and when Harpagon sets his sights on an inappropriately young woman (who is herself interested in Harpagon’s son) hilarity and antics ensue. If this hasn’t sold you already then you may be interested to know that the production team includes director Peter Evans, Bell Shakespeare’s founder and actor, John Bell; as well as a cast of seasoned veterans including Michelle Doake, Harriet Gordon-Anderson, Elizabeth Nabben, Sean O’Shea, Jamie Oxenbould, Russel Smith, Damien Strouthos and Jessica Tovey. This version of the play has been translated by the celebrated playwright Justin Fleming, earning the already funny premise a delightful Australian twang. The production will be housed at the Sydney Opera House, opening March 2 and running for a little over a month as it closes on April 6 before heading to Canberra and Melbourne. Book your tickets at the Bell Shakespeare website. But be quick, this show is a barrell of laughs and is bound to sell out quick.