Sydney’s Best Open Air Cinema: Films Under the Stars

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Summer in Australia means open air cinema. Many people eagerly wait for the summer to watch the sun go down, the stars come up, and their favourite films light up the screen at cinemas all over Sydney. Perfect for magical date nights or relaxed picnics with friends, open air cinemas can be found in captivating places like Centennial Park, Bondi Beach, and Sydney Harbour. Don’t miss these three wonderful open air cinemas when you hit Sydney this summer.

Moonlight Cinema

Sydney’s warm, fragrant summer nights are maddeningly romantic. If you’re looking for a dreamy night out with your loved one, roll up to Moonlight Cinema in Centennial Park. As you walk down the terraced lawn, listen to the birds and cicadas starting up their evening orchestra and setting the mood for hours of snuggling, sipping wine, and watching the latest movies. It turns out you have tickets for the Gold Grass area, which means you get your very own Bean Beds in the best spot on the lawn. A waiter comes over and politely asks if he can bring you anything from the food truck or bar. You order a bottle of Australian sparkling, nachos, and calamari. This open air cinema business just gets better and better. As the sky darkens, you and your love toast to each other, Sydney, and this one-of-a-kind experience. A nearby cockatoo looks on with interest, or maybe he’s just as excited as you are to see the film.

St. George OpenAir Cinema

The beauty and drama has you transfixed, and the movie hasn’t even started yet. Your love has decided to wow you with a special night at the St. George OpenAir Cinema. Located near Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, the cinematic experience includes heart-stopping views of Sydney’s Opera House, Harbour Bridge, and city skyline. The setting is so glamorous that it calls for a glass of bubbly, so you drop your “Reserved” sign on the best seats you can find (they think ahead here), and head down to the pop-up bar and restaurant on the harbour’s edge. Hundreds of fruit bats fly across the violet-streaked sky as Sydney’s icons soften into silhouettes. You and your loved one soak it all up with a glass of bubbles, Vietnamese spring rolls, and some utterly addictive truffle Parmesan fries. But night is creeping on, so you hurry back to your seats, to see your giant movie screen being hydraulically raised out of Sydney Harbour. Now this is the way to see the latest art house release. You squeeze your beloved’s hand, and wonder how you’ll ever eat popcorn in an air-conditioned cinema again.

Ben and Jerry’s Openair Cinema

After your glorious date nights, you’re eager to share Sydney’s open air cinema experience with your friends, so you grab tickets, pack a picnic, and head straight to Bondi Beach. You arrive early to stake your spot on the grassy hill overlooking the sand since there’s no reserved seating at Ben and Jerry’s Openair Cinema. Wow, this is a breathtaking location! The sun is still shining and the ocean is just steps away. It’s also Sunday, which means you’re just in time for the cinema’s Sundae Sessions, a festival-inspired screening complete with live music and free Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. There’s also a ridiculous game of Giant Cow Jenga happening on the lawn. You could kiss Sydney and its easy summer vibe, but you bear hug your friend, who has arrived with the crackers and hummus, instead. While one friend goes for beers, others throw themselves into the throng for mini golf. You’re happy to lie back and listen to the great indie band that has just started playing. There is only one more thing your heart desires—your favourite movie—and you get it. You just can’t beat watching beneath the stars with your friends.

  • Moonlight Cinema

    Oxford Street, Paddington NSW 2021, Australia

  • Ben and Jerry's Openair Cinema

    Bondi Pavillion, Bondi Beach, NSW 2026

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