The best outdoor cinemas in Sydney

You're spoiled for choice when it comes to watching flicks in the open air in this town
A wide shot of the crowd sitting down in front of the large scre
Photograph: Moonlight Cinema
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Feel like enjoying a film in a park, or by the water? Do alfresco movies like an expert with Time Out’s guide to the new summer season, from blockbusters to tearjerkers to real horror shows. Bring a rug, bring your family – some even let you bring your dog. While you're planning your summer adventures, check out these harbour islands or these tourist attractions that don't suck.

American Express Openair Cinemas
Photograph: Supplied
Film, Outdoor cinema

American Express Openair Cinemas Inner West

icon-location-pin University of Sydney, Camperdown
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Gadigal Green, on the south-of-King-Street side of the University of Sydney, is gearing up to host the new season of Openair Cinemas. This year there are more than 20 special events taking place before the movies, including DJs and live music. Dogs are not just tolerated at every screening, they're positively welcomed with free doggy treats and canine couches.

A wide shot of the crowd sitting down in front of the large scre
Photograph: Moonlight Cinema
Film, Outdoor cinema

Moonlight Cinema

icon-location-pin Centennial Park, Centennial Park
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There's nothing quite like a film under the stars in the beautiful surrounds at Belvedere Amphitheatre in Centennial Park. 

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Film, Outdoor cinema

St George OpenAir Cinema

icon-location-pin Mrs Macquaries Point, Sydney
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The most glam of the outdoor cinemas is St George OpenAir. From your seats in the stadium you can watch the screen rise up over the water, with the Opera House and Bridge as the backdrop. There's a bar and restaurant too. 

Mov'in Bed Outdoor Cinema
Photograph: Supplied
Film, Outdoor cinema

Mov'in Bed Open Air Cinema

icon-location-pin The Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park
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Crawl under the blankets with a glass of wine and settle in for another beautifuly curated season of movies at the Entertainment Quarter in the Showring.

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Sunset Cinema North Sydney
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Film, Outdoor cinema

Sunset Cinema

icon-location-pin North Sydney Oval, North Sydney
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North Sydney Oval, with its historic grandstand and views of the lights of North Sydney, is a classy venue for outdoor cinema screenings, and Sunset Cinema will kick off another 10-week season on January 17.  Gates open 90 minutes prior to each film commencing and a range of food and beverages is available. Join the Sunset Cinema Movie Club to get early bird ticket discounts, news, promotions and other prizes.  The season's films will be announced on November 21, when ticket will go on sale.

Flickerfest amphitheater shows a woman at the beach on screen
Photograph: Supplied
Film, Film festivals

Flickerfest

icon-location-pin Bondi Pavilion, Bondi Beach
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Sydney’s original outdoor film festival takes place at Bondi Pavilion and attracts the best short films from around the world – not least because a win in one of the competition categories qualifies films for consideration for an Oscar nomination.

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Families enjoy a film outside at the Village Green
Photograph: Supplied
Kids, Fairs and festivals

Little Darlings Night Owls Kids Film Festival

icon-location-pin Darling Quarter, Haymarket
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Free outdoor movies return in January 2019 as the Little Darling Night Owls Kids Film Festival sets up roost on Darling Quarter’s Village Green for another year

Film, Special screenings

Skyline Drive-In Blacktown

icon-location-pin Prospect

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. 

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Tropfest
Photograph: Supplied
Film, Film festivals

Tropfest

icon-location-pin Parramatta Park, Parramatta
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Filmmakers are currently writing, shooting and editing for the chance to be one of 16 Tropfest 2019 finalists. Those films will premiere live in front of thousands of people in the Crescent, Parramatta Park, and be broadcast to an even bigger audience at home. 

More outdoor action...

A generic shot of a picnic basket with plates, cutlery, bread an
Photograph: Alex Lang
Things to do

The best picnic spots in Sydney

What could be more romantic than a picnic packed for two and sweeping harbour views? Where else could you organise a long, lazy lunch for a big group of friends? Or, an impromptu dinner date alfresco? Cancel your restaurant booking and head to one of these top places to enjoy a picnic. We’ve called ahead to find out if there’s parking, toilets and barbecues too. You can thank us later.

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