Feel like enjoying a film in a park, by the water, or even on the water? Do alfresco movies like an expert with our guide to the new summer season of films outdoors, from blockbusters to tearjerkers and chilling horror shows. Bring a rug, bring some snacks (or buy them from handy pop-up eateries) and bring your family – some cinemas will even let you bring your dog.
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Sydney's most scenic outdoor movie screenings
[Sponsored] See fresh new releases, golden oldies and critically acclaimed alternative films in Pyrmont's Metcalfe Park. Recent hits in the program include Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Hustlers, Downton Abbey, Joker and Australian film Ride Like a Girl. Also expect a caravan of food trucks and pop-up bars, plus live entertainment and other film fun under the stars.
Pack your picnic baskets because Sydney’s favourite park cinema is returning for movies under the stars this summer. Moonlight’s rolling expanse of green grass and pop-up screen is the perfect setting for unfurling a picnic blanket and keeping the family entertained, spending time with mates or having a date where you have more room to chat (and canoodle) than a traditional cinema. Keep an eye out for the full program release.
This fun date night series has been running since 2016, offering Sydney’s film buffs the chance to see new releases and classic cinematic moments on the big screen while laying in bed at pop-up outdoor locations. The full program is yet to be announced for Sydney audiences, but if the earlier event in Perth is anything to go by, it’s looking like a winning summer of movies.
Roll out the red carpet because out of 2,800 submissions from around the world, 100 short films will be chosen for the big screen for the 29th Flickerfest. Starting in January, you’ll swing from laughter to tears as you spend the night watching these impressive short films at the open-air screenings at Bondi Pavillion. Keep an eye out for the 2020 program release in December.
Movies by the Boulevard is joining forces with Sydney Hills Outdoor Cinema to bring this new outdoor film event to Sydney. It’s a similar concept as in previous years, with free new releases screening at Cathy Freeman Park throughout January. See family-friendly faves like Dumbo, Toy Story 4 and Avengers: End Game for no dollars.
The recently rebadged Westpac OpenAir is the one down on the water at Mrs Macquaries Chair, where up to 2,000 viewers gather in grandstand seating nightly to watch the 350m2 screen rise up from the water for the evening's show. The Opera House and Harbour Bridge wink at you in the background, the food is restaurant-standard, and the drinks are flowing.
We've already got movies in the park, movies by the beach, outdoor movies in bed, and movies down by Sydney Harbour, but now Sydney's mania for alfresco screenings has taken that extra leap to deliver movies on a boat. The concept kicked off last summer and proved a hit, so they've announced a brand new round of floating films. See seasonal flicks like Elf, Die Hard and Crazy, Stupid, Love on the harbour.
Enjoy all the holiday movies like it’s 60 years ago at Sydney’s only drive-in cinema. It’s been renovated to follow a 1950s theme, with diner food like hamburgers, hot dogs, shakes and banana splits served by staff in era-appropriate costume. They'll be showing all the standard Star Wars-level blockbusters over summer, plus a few festive faves like Love, Actually.
While part of this sleepover on Cockatoo Island involves paranormal investigations and actual sleeping, there'll also be outdoor movies screening every night post-ghost tour. You’ll get more chills and thrills from the big screen, with an evening of horror film screenings in the campground cinema, where you can also enjoy hot choccy and biscuits by the campfire.