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.
RECOMMENDED: The best ocean pools in Sydney.
Sydney's most scenic outdoor movie screenings
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.
Cadigal Green, on the south-of-King-Street side of the University of Sydney, is hosting the new season of American Express Openair Cinemas. This year there are four weeks of screenings, many including DJs and live music. Dogs are not just tolerated at every screening, they're positively welcomed. The line-up includes festive new releases as well as big blockbuster screenings we’ve been waiting to watch all year.
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.
American Express Openair Cinemas offers movie fanatics much more than the average cinematic experience. From February 3 to March 15, the amphitheatre and lawn of Bondi Pavilion will be taken over by a packed program of movies, live entertainment, dining and music. The Bondi season will feature exciting new films plus hits of 2019 along with a couple of beloved classics.
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 ten-week season on January 15. Gates open 90 minutes prior to each film commencing a range of food and beverages is available.
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.