What to do if it rains at open air cinema
Outdoor cinema is something Sydney does better than anywhere else in the world. Unfortunately, summer rain is also one of our specialties. Don’t be too bummed out – here is what to do if the weather looks bad and you’re not sure how your evening is going to play out...
Five five-star films you must see this month
You can tell it's Academy Awards season when the cinemas are crowded with high quality flicks, all hoping to capitalise on the free publicity. These five movies are Oscar hopefuls (with one deliriously weird exception) and all of them rate the maximum five stars from Time Out critics
Guides for Sydney movie lovers
Films in cinemas now in Sydney
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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Win a double pass to the Karaoke Climb
Imagine performing your favourite song in an open-air karaoke booth on the summit of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and having it captured on film. This summer, BridgeClimb is offering a special Karaoke Climb, and you could win a double pass to experience it, valued at $606. Each climber also receives a complimentary group photo and a baseball cap. To enter, tell us before February 16 what song would you like to sing at the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Name: Email: Gender: Female Male Other Year of Birth: Postcode: Your karaoke song: Do you have a lot of opinions? We're keen to know what our readers think, so we've created an insider's club to find out. Join, and we'll email you surveys and questions from time to time. It's a great chance to have your thoughts heard, and we'll reward you with treats too. Tick this box if you'd like to join our insider's club. Enter now! Terms and conditions in full. By entering this competition you agree to receive relevant communications from Time Out including news, events, offers and competitions. Note: the prize is valid Monday to Sunday for day or night climbs (excluding twilight and dawn) and must be redeemed before March 6, 2017 on the Karaoke Climb.
Sydney Chinese New Year Festival is coming
Bring the family into the city to see Sydney in a whole new light when the Chinese New Year Festival celebrations begin on Friday January 27.To welcome the Year of the Rooster, Westpac presents Painting the Town Red – wherein famous Sydney landmarks are lit up in red lights for three nights, January 27-29. The Sydney Harbour Bridge, Opera House and several other icons will be lit up by red projections from 8pm to midnight, symbolising good fortune and happiness, plus a featured projection of the Festival Rooster on the Australian National Maritime Museum. From Friday January 27 through to Sunday February 12, Lunar Lanterns will be installed around Circular Quay. Towering up to ten metres in height, the 12 lanterns represent the signs of the Lunar Zodiac and have been designed by Asian-Australian artists with festival curator Claudia Chan Shaw. The lanterns will be illuminated each day from dusk – you can learn more about them and see photos here.
Introducing the Big Oz Schnitzelmeister challenge
Love schnitzel? Up for a crumbed, golden and tasty Australia Day challenge? Then you'll want to head to the Munich Brauhaus or Bavarian Bier Cafés across Sydney on Thursday January 26. The Big Oz Schnitzelmeister challenge sees one kilo of golden veal schnitzel topped with beetroot and everyone's favourite breakfast combo – crisp bacon and sunny side up eggs. The task – if you choose to accept it – is to finish the Big Oz Schnitzelmeister in less than one hour. If successful, you will receive your mega-meal on the house (usual price: $100), a Schnitzelmeister champion T-shirt, your very own spot in the Schnitzelmeister Hall of Fame and of course, bragging rights. You can take on the Big Oz Schnitzelmeister challenge at the Munich Brauhaus in the Rocks and at Bavarian Bier Cafés at Bondi Beach, Chatswood, Entertainment Quarter, Parramatta, Miranda and York Street.
Hong Kong 101
You could spend a week, a year or a decade in Hong Kong and never be bored once. Pulsing with energy and always evolving, it’s the perfect place to explore if you’re into people-watching, eating, shopping, hiking, partying, relaxing, art, history… or perhaps all of the above. Thanks to its compact size and zippy public transport system, Hong Kong is also remarkably easy to navigate, meaning you can cram a lot of action into a fairly short trip. The most unexpected part? A multitude of beaches and green hillsides are within easy reach of the city, providing the perfect respite when you seek it. Here are the must-see districts to explore in the days you have free either side of the Sevens.