Guides for Sydney movie lovers
Films in cinemas now in Sydney
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.
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 Verona Cinemas
Paddington’s intellectuals, gays and art-house crowds are always seen milling about the Palace Verona with glee. The four screens are on the small side, the seats are snug and the pre-show commercials... well, they tend to go on forever. But we're forgiving film lovers, especially since this oft-buzzing venue screens an expertly curated line-up of arthouse releases from name directors (Woody, the Coens, PT Anderson...), world movies, quirky Australian indies and special one-offs, like screenings of overseas stage productions and concerts. There's a licensed café, wine and espresso bar on the premises – good for a pre-movie drink, a post-movie chat or even just a day date, since you don't have to purchase a ticket to enjoy what they're pouring and brewing. And if you're a frequent moviegoer, you'll want to check out Palace's great-value membership schemes, which are more than worth the investment if you see flicks on the regular.
Named after the Australian film pioneer Charles Chauvel - of Jedda fame - this much-loved local cinema is part of the Palace cinema chain. Its proscenium arch brings true grandeur to the art of film and the staff really know their stuff. Screenings tend to be seriously arty and the place also holds Cinemateque screenings. Be sure to seek out the lovely upstairs bar. Bus 333, 352, 378, 380. Screens 2. Tickets $16.50; $9-$12.50 reductions; $8 Tue.
Upcoming film releases in Australia
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Summer festival of fun at Kingpin
This summer get a crew together and head down to Kingpin to enjoy festival style fun, all in the one place. For just $30 you'll score a festival pass, which allows you to mix and match Kingpin's all-star games and activities. Score a strike at bowling, aim and fire in laser tag or get your joystick on with 30 minutes of arcade game frenzy. All this gaming is going to require some fuel, so make sure you load up on drink and food specials. You can get a fruity Pimms jugs for just $25 and there are lots of ace options for groups, like the Mexican share plate which comes with build-your-own fajitas and tacos. There are also mega burgers, curly fries, Kentucky buffalo wings, southern fried chicken sliders and nachos. Plus, when you purchase your summer festival pass, you'll automatically be in the running for awesome giveaways. Prize packs filled with the sweetest summer swag includes Eskys, round beach towels, GoPros, wireless speakers, a $100 Sunglass Hut voucher and heaps more. Both Kingpin Darling Harbour and Kingpin Macarthur will be hosting the ultimate summer festival of fun offers every day from 10am-6pm, and both venues have fully licensed bars and themed music to keep you dancing as you play. Find out more about Kingpin's summer festival of fun.
The Burger Project is making your summer soft serve dreams come true
Summer is here and Sydney is heating up. Want to know the best way to cool down? A tasty soft serve ice cream is a pretty good option... And when they are only $2? well that's even better. Head into Burger Project – at World Square Centre, Bondi Junction, MLC Centre, Gateway Sydney and Macquarie Centre – to get your hands on a deliciously rich soft serve cone. They are usually $4.50 but every weekend throughout January you can get your hands around one for a cool couple of bucks. The soft serve is churned in-house daily and made using fresh dairy cream and milk, with all natural flavourings. Choose from real vanilla bean or Valrhona chocolate, swirled into a crunchy waffle cone. Meaning the hardest decision you'll have to make this summer may just be the age-old question: chocolate or vanilla?
Hotel Bondi launches a new summer menu
Hotel Bondi has just launched a new summer menu, which is perfect for digging into after a day at the beach or closing out your weekend on. Starters include Baja fish tacos, flash fried calamari or a bucket of Crystal Bay prawns. Freshen things up with a salad, like the ocean trout ceviche with ruby red grapefruit and cucumber or seared yellow fin tuna with seaweed, pickled radish and avocado. They also have a brand new fire pizza oven, from which they'll be dishing out favourites like Hawaiian and Margarita, alongside sizzling additions like the carmalised onion and black fig pizza with goats curd and thyme, or the chilli prawn with tomatoes, spring onion and lemon. You'll also find pub classics like a parmesan crumbed veal schnitzel with pickle and fennel slaw, or the Bondi grilled Angus burger. Also keep your eye out for $15 weekday specials of chicken parmi and fries, a 200g ebony Angus top sirloin with mash or fries or a beer battered dory with chips and tartar. The bistro's extended summer hours mean you can get dinner or lunch Mon-Fri noon-3pm and 5-10pm and Sat & Sun noon-10pm. So get down and enjoy a slice of summer at Hotel Bondi.