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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Just for Laughs
Now in its eighth year, Just For Laughs has become a comedy fixture for Sydney, presenting a largely Antipodean, UK and American line-up across Sydney Opera House, Enmore Theatre, Factory Theatre and City Recital Hall. Highlights from this year's program include English comedy stalwart Bill Bailey, who'll be bringing stand-up, sing-alongs and satire to the Sydney Opera House in his new show, Earl of Whimsy. You know him from his laugh-out-loud roles in Crazy Rich Asians, The Hangover and Community, but did you know Ken Jeong actually started his career as a doctor before moving to stand-up? He'll be reverting back to his foundations in comedy, with a one-off Opera House performance. Iliza Shlesinger, who was the first woman to win Last Comic Standing in 2008, and has four Netflix specials to her name and the hugely popular podcast, Truth and Iliza. Improviser extraordinaire Reggie Watts, who'll be using just has voice and looping pedals to create a hilarious musical performance. Whose Line is it Anyway? stars Colin Mochrie, Brad Sherwood and Greg Proops, who'll be bringing a touch of the Whose Line magic to Sydney in an improvised performance. Ryan Hamilton and Becky Lucas will also both take to the Opera House while Ismo, Kenny Sebastian and Mo Gilligan will hit the Factory Theatre for solo shows. Returning this year is the popular All-Star Gala (which tends to sell out), which will again be hosted by Dave Hughes and features Reggie Watts, the stars of Whose Line is
Head to Whirly Bird's aperitivo hour
Pyrmont's own cocktail and chicken devoted bar will be dishing out this new aperitivo hour every week. Inspired by the Italian tradition, you’ll be able to order up glasses of red or white wine, bitter amari or Resch's Draught for just $5. If you're after a cocktail, there will be a menu of bartender's picks. You can order up an Aperol Spritz, Negroni, Daiquiri or a Paloma. To go with your drinks, you can peruse a selection of $10 snacks, including salt and pepper silken tofu, avocado and edamame guacamole, chicken and chorizo croquettes and spicy jalapeño poppers. A highlight of the $10 menu is Whirly Bird's signature messy wings, which you can order in three different styles – chilli caramel with pickled radish, sesame and lime; satay with spicy peanut sauce and green onions; or classic buffalo wings, with honey and chilli hot sauce, blue cheese dip and celery. If you're in on Thursday night you'll also find $12 burgers, and every day you can get around the rest of the full Whirly Bird menu, which includes rotisserie chicken and porchetta, buttermilk fried chicken and salads. Whirly Bird's aperitivo hour goes down Sunday through Thursday from 5pm-7pm, making it the perfect spot for after work drinks or a pre-theatre bite to eat. Find out more about Whirly Bird.
Local guide to Double Bay with Kayla Lagesse, the Sheaf
The Sheaf has a legendary status as an Eastern Suburbs party pub. Visiting this Double Bay venue is practically a rite of passage for young people, and there's a line-up of DJs and live entertainment throughout the week. Their beer garden is one of the best places to be, day or night. One of the Sheaf’s biggest fans works there: duty manager Kayla Lagesse. Kayla, how long have you worked here?I have worked at the Sheaf for just over four years. I applied for a job as soon as I turned 18! I started out as a food runner in the bistro and have since worked my way up to bartender, then a bar supervisor, and now a duty manager. What do you love most about your job?Hospitality is one of the greatest industries to work in. There is always something exciting happening, whether it’s a big event or helping create a new cocktail list. I’m someone who enjoys eating and drinking, and I also value being able to provide guests with a great experience and tell a story through the food and drinks they enjoy. Plus, I have met some of my greatest friends, and so many people with interesting stories along the way. Who have you met?I know many of the customers that come in very well. A mother and infant son have come in for the past three years, and some of the baby’s first words were learning the staff’s names! There were two girls who came in on a Wednesday night and one of the girls’ boyfriends had just dumped her. They seemed a bit down, so I sent them over a couple of [complimentary] Cosm
Get around these chimney cone ice creams
Sydney has its very own dessert truck devoted to chimney cones, a traditional Hungarian dessert that takes grilled sugar dusted doughnut-like cones, fills them with ice cream, then tops it with sweet treats. Pimp My Chimney rolls around Sydney serving up the decadent, portable dessert, and now you can find it at a bunch of locations around the city and surrounds. You'll find them regularly at EQ Moore Park and in Blacktown, and also at one-off events including the upcoming Cabaramatta Moon Festival; Penrith Octoberfest and the Marrickville Festival. To keep your eye out for where you can get around the treat, follow the Pimp My Chimney Facebook. Once you track the dessert truck down, you'll be able to try one of the eight tasty chimney cones like the Naughty Nuts Nutella, Nutella brownies, vanilla ice cream and hazelnuts; the Cheeky Choc, cookies, choc fingers, flakes, sauce and ice cream; or the oozey doozy Caramel Baby, with honeycomb, caramel fudge, caramel popcorn, caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream. Find out more about Pimp My Chimney.