See the Sydney premiere of Top of the Lake and meet director Jane Campion
Fans of Top of the Lake will know the second second series of Jane Campion’s crime thriller was filmed here in Sydney, and so to celebrate the new installment of the TV show Sydney Opera House is hosting the premiere screening of the first two episodes – alongside a Q&A with the writer and director
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.
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 Verona Cinemas
Paddington’s intellectuals, gays and art-house crowds are always seen milling about the Palace Verona with glee. The four screens are on the small side, the seats are snug and the pre-show commercials... well, they tend to go on forever. But we're forgiving film lovers, especially since this oft-buzzing venue screens an expertly curated line-up of arthouse releases from name directors (Woody, the Coens, PT Anderson...), world movies, quirky Australian indies and special one-offs, like screenings of overseas stage productions and concerts. There's a licensed café, wine and espresso bar on the premises – good for a pre-movie drink, a post-movie chat or even just a day date, since you don't have to purchase a ticket to enjoy what they're pouring and brewing. And if you're a frequent moviegoer, you'll want to check out Palace's great-value membership schemes, which are more than worth the investment if you see flicks on the regular.
Named after the Australian film pioneer Charles Chauvel - of Jedda fame - this much-loved local cinema is part of the Palace cinema chain. Its proscenium arch brings true grandeur to the art of film and the staff really know their stuff. Screenings tend to be seriously arty and the place also holds Cinemateque screenings. Be sure to seek out the lovely upstairs bar. Bus 333, 352, 378, 380. Screens 2. Tickets $16.50; $9-$12.50 reductions; $8 Tue.
Upcoming film releases in Australia
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Little Creatures Live
You might already enjoy their beer – including Pale Ale, Rogers' and Dog Days – but did you know there's a way to take your Little Creatures love a little deeper? This year the brewery is taking their show on the road with a series of parties that feature live performance art, food and beer at various on-premise locations and festivals across Australia. They're calling it Little Creatures Live – inspired by the original moniker of their very first Pale Ale, brewed their own way with fresh hops flowers and live yeast. Little Creatures Live will be back in Sydney very soon. Curious as to what to expect? Check out our recaps below. Or if you can't wait, why not pay a visit to Little Creatures' Fremantle or Geelong breweries?
Vote for the bar making your favourite Patrón XO Café Espresso Martini and win a $200 bar tab
If the mere thought of an Espresso Martini makes your heart beat a little faster, then it’s a great time to live in Sydney right now. For a limited time, a selection of top Sydney bars curated by Patrón are creating special twists on the classic Espresso Martini, using Patrón XO Café. Each of these bars is putting their own expression on the cocktail, and together, they make up the Expresso Society (get it?). They’re shaking up the classic cocktail in all sorts of delicious ways – Rosie Campbell’s ‘Patroco’ blends Patrón XO Café, chocolate liqueur and homemade toasted coconut syrup and coconut cream to create a tropical holiday in a glass. For a nutty kick, try Café del Mar’s ‘Espresso del Mar’, which adds Frangelico, hazelnut syrup and butterscotch to Patrón XO Café and espresso. The creativity doesn’t stop there. Bars like Paddington Inn are adding sweetness by throwing burnt marshmallows into the mix, while the clever bartenders at Pitt Street’s Mexican diner Mejico are staying true to their roots by using Peloton Mezcal and agave in their ‘MeXo Espresso’. The question is: which of these Espresso Martinis do you most want to drink? To win a $200 tab at one of these Sydney bars, tell us which cocktail recipe takes your fancy (the full list is here). Enter by telling us which of these Patrón XO Café Espresso Martinis you'd most like to drink, and why by Monday July 31. Name: Email: I'd like to drink: (25 words or less) Tick this box to hear more from Patrón XO
Monday night cocktail club at Zeta Bar
Nobody enjoys freezing cold weather, Mondays, or expensive cocktails. Escape from all three by visiting Zeta Bar on Monday nights for their winter warming cocktails and specials. Every Monday until the end of August, Zeta Bar is transforming into a cocktail club with $10 rotating cocktail specials. Love gin? Zeta Bar do, and they’re putting together a warm gin cocktail to beat the chilly weather blues – the ‘Abdication Punch’ a shareable concoction for four people ($85). Zeta Bar's dedicated mixologists take inspiration from innovative culinary heavyweights such as Heston Blumenthal and Ferran Adria so the drinks are bound to be a little fancier than your standard G&T. Zeta Bar’s cocktail club is open 5pm till late every Monday until the end of August.
Head to Hacienda Sydney
After a spot for pre-theatre drinks or a post-work wind down? Look no further than Circular Quay's Cuban-inspired cocktail lounge, Hacienda Sydney. The glassed in box juts out over the concourse, making for some of the best views of the glistening Sydney Harbour. On the cocktail front they are slinging fruity, Caribbean themed numbers. Kick back with a Pina Princess with pineapple rum, mezcal, apricot brandy, passionfruit puree, chai syrup and ginger beer; or a Té Amo with elderflower, vodka, lime juice and earl grey tea syrup. Snacks wise you can order up jerk chicken sliders, black bean arancini, chargrilled octopus and spiced lamb riblets. Add in DJs on Friday and Saturday nights spinning relaxed house tunes and you've got yourself a swanky way to kick start your weekend.