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
This independent, family owned twin cinema of Roseville is quaint, lovely and local. Originally a town hall, it became a cinema in 1919 and underwent a renovation in 2011 They screen a wonderful mix match of art house, foreign and independent movies. There are crying rooms for parents with babies, and they have a bar!
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.
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Win a double pass to experience Vivid Sydney from the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge
There's one way to avoid dealing with the Vivid Sydney crowds this year, and that's with a climb up the Sydney Harbour Bridge with BridgeClimb Sydney. Their annual Vivid Climb is back this year from May 24 to June 15, and they're giving Time Out readers the chance to win a double pass to experience Sydney's light installations and projections from a sky-high vantage point. The experience is worth $268 for adults and $188 for kids, and the lucky winner and a friend will get to join a group on a three-and-a-half-hour climb starting at sunset. On the way up you'll get to see the harbour from a whole new angle, and the experience will culminate in the coolest dance party once you reach the top. You'll dance on a light-up dancefloor under the stars, and when it's time to go home, winners will receive a complimentary group photo and video capturing your once-in-a-lifetime dance party with a bird's eye view. If you'd like to experience Vivid Sydney a little differently this year, enter the competition below by May 24. Enter here
Concertos on Fire
If you’ve ever wanted to get into classical music, but the idea of sitting in a concert hall listening to Beethoven or Bach isn’t for you, head down to the City Recital Hall on June 7 for a show that will completely change the way you look at concertos. Instead of a concertmaster in front of men and women in their best black tie, this performance will be headlined by Sonja Schebeck, a fire-taming violinist with an interest in fiery acrobatics. This will be a one-night-only performance of two Australian classical music pieces, Maninyas by Ross Edwards and the debut of Tale of the Firebird by Chloe Charody. Maninyas is considered one of Australia’s famous violin concertos, while Charody has worked with Schebeck since 2007 and has composed her piece for this very performance. Schebeck is a graduate of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, one of the country’s best institutes for classical music, and she has received multiple prizes including the Balmain Sinfonia Concerto Competition and Gisborne International Music Competition. Joining Schebeck onstage will be the Freestyle Orchestra, an international ensemble of musicians who play their instruments while performing circus tricks, acrobatic stunts, dance and physical theatre. Expect fire-breathing viola-players, violinists hanging from silks and human towers complete with a range of string instruments. This is definitely not your average classical music gig. Concertos on Fire is presented by Vivid Music, a part of the Vivid S
The Vivid Climb
If you’re a Sydneysider, loving Vivid comes with the territory. And since the colourful winter festival paints our city in such a spectacular light, it’s well worth the annual visit. But, there’s one thing that can put some off the idea: the crowds. Luckily, BridgeClimb Sydney has come up with a solution for those wanting a more exclusive (and calm) view of the projections and light installations. BridgeClimb Sydney is running their night-time climbs throughout the Vivid festival with a few perks. From May 24-June 15 and for the standard night climb ticket price of $268 for adults and $188 for kids, you’ll get to experience Vivid from the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. We’re talking bright lights and colours as far you can see. Imagine seeing the iconic Opera House sails, vibrantly lit up, with an unobstructed vantage point? In groups of no more than 14, you’ll embark on the three-and-a-half hour climb just as the sun goes down. You’ll don your flashing vest and on your way up, enjoy incredible views of the light installations and projections from every angle. Adding to the festival atmosphere, at the very summit of the bridge there will be a flashing '70s disco, complete with light-up dancefloor and retro tunes. You can boogie down while you’re up top, and you’ll be able to keep a short video of your dance moves and a complimentary group shot as souvenirs of your time on top of the world. Don't miss out, bookings are now open on the BridgeClimb Sydney website.
Underground gigs to see in Sydney
You’ve finished up another day on that nine-to-five grind and you’re ready for something a little more exciting to do. May we suggest that you take advantage of the fact you’re already in the city to go and enjoy some great live music? We’ve rounded up a list of eight outstanding yet under-the-radar gigs that are on in late May and early June as part of Vivid XCelerate, Vivid Sydney’s spotlight on emerging musical acts across different genres, which is funded by the City of Sydney. There are dance parties to groove to, cabaret to experience and many other fantastic gigs to find. And as it turns out, going to experience live music can actually boost your productivity in the office and improve your wellbeing day-to-day, as well as in the future.