Heading to a Sydney Outdoor Cinema is a lovely way to end the day. Sydneysiders seem to love nothing more in summer than watching a movie under the stars and over the last decade, summer outdoor cinemas have sprung up across Sydney. Here is our guide to this season’s offerings – we will update this as additional details are released.
Updated 31 November 2021
- Moonlight Cinema – Centennial Park
- Westpac OpenAir Cinema – Sydney Harbour
- Sunset Cinema North Sydney – North Sydney Oval
- Open Air Cinema – Bondi Beach
- Laneway Cinema – The Rocks
- Outdoor Cinema – Sydney Olympic Park
- Little Nightowls – Darling Quarter
- Google maps of outdoor cinema locations
Moonlight Cinema – Centennial Park
Bring a picnic and a rug and head to our biggest city park for a movie under the stars. The Moonlight Cinema has the most extensive season offering over three months of movies.
Tip: If you are looking to impress on the first date the “Gold Grass” ticket includes a bean bed.
There is a range of packages on offer from the very fancy Platinum Experience ($220) that includes a Premium double lounger including blankets, and double serves of popcorn, Connoisseur ice creams, two beverages courtesy of Tia Maria and a Catering Box curated by QT or for the more budget-conscious the Gold Class ($41) that includes a bean bed in a premium viewing location and wait service.
Gates open at 7 pm and movies start between 8 pm and 8.30pm depending on sunset times. Dogs are allowed on a leash and you can BYO your own food and drinks, making this a budget-friendly venue.
Dates: 9 Dec 2021 – 3 April 2022 Moonlight Cinema is closed on Mondays.
Cost: Adults $20-$41 or blow the budget with the $220 per couple package!
Transport: Bus from Bondi Junction or the city, parking is available in surrounding streets but fills very early. The nearest gates to the cinema are the Woollahra Gates on Oxford Street, so any Oxford St bus is your best bet.
Gold Grass tickets are also available to purchase on the night if you arrive before they sell out.
Westpac OpenAir Cinema – Sydney Harbour
Billed as the world’s most beautiful cinema, watching a movie on a screen that pops up out of Sydney Harbour is as amazing as it sounds. This cinema at the edge of the Botanic Gardens is probably the most romantic in the city.
Watch the sunset over the harbour while you wait for the sky to darken enough for the movie to begin, usually at about 8:30pm.
There are two dining areas with different catering options this year
- Mexican by Mike at The Point – A Taqueria from Kitchen by Mike open to all ticket holders
- Kitchen by Mike in the Heineken Green – to access them you need to book a ticket that includes access to the Heineken Green area.
Check out the menus here
Tip: This cinema sells out quickly so don’t put off your purchase
We have attended this cinema several times at our own expense, and it is by far our favourite for quality and comfort. Bring your $$$ if you fancy a drink, it is not BYO.
Dates: 6 January to 22 February 2022 – Tickets on sale: 8 December 2021
Cost: Movie only $34 in the general admission area. $45-$65 for reserved dining area and cinema seat – food extra.
Transport: Walk from Martin Place or Circular Quay Station, 442 bus to Art Gallery. Try to leave the car at home, parking is very limited in this area.
Visit the Westpac OpenAir website for more.
Sunset Cinema North Sydney – North Sydney Oval
While best known as a home to cricket or football each summer North Sydney Oval’s Starlight cinema screens over 30 movies. Watch from the lawn, rent a chair or bean bed and if it rains head for the stands to watch the end of the film. Gates open at 6.30 pm, films start at last night. There is a guide to times on their website.
Tip: Great for last-minute seats as this large cinema is rarely sold out.
BYO food and soft drinks – no glass or alcohol allowed. Food and alcohol are available to buy. This one is not pet-friendly, so if you have a dog phobia you are in luck!
Dates: Screening from 16 December 26 March 2022
Cost: $21 Adults, $17 Concession $14 kids 3-12 years. Lawn lounge $22 Bean bag $10
Public transport: Bus from North Sydney or Wynyard Station
Visit the Sunset Cinema website
Open Air Cinema – Bondi Beach
Details may have changed due to the pandemic. Please check the website before making plans.
Live music, sunset drinks, food from Salt Meat Cheese and a movie in the great outdoors. Summer in Sydney means outdoor movies and this venue at Bondi is about as Sydney as it gets. This one is my favourite because you can take your dog along and they even have special doggy packages.
Tip: Arrive early for the pre-movie music. Bring a jacket – it can get pretty cool by the ocean at night.
Get there early to get a beanbag chair before they run out. Gates open from 6 pm and the movie here begins around 8:30 pm. We arrived about two hours before the movie started and it was nice to be able to relax and catch up during the sunset.
While it was nice being near the bar in future, I would avoid the back of the hill near the bar because it gets a bit distracting when they pack up the bar towards the end of the movie.
Check out our Guide to Bondi for more dining tips.
Cost: $20-40 depending on how many perks your order. Deal 4 tickets for $70. Beanbags are extra and in limited supply.
Details: Over 18 years only. BYO food and soft drinks but no glass, alcohol or sharp knives
Public transport: Buses from Bondi Junction or the City. Parking is very limited.
Visit the Bondi Open Air cinema website to view the program
Laneway Cinema – The Rocks
Not quite the same experience as the others the Laneway Cinema at the Rocks does have a few things going for it. Firstly it’s free so no need to be organised for this one and secondly its surrounded by pubs and dining options. We suggest you pop downstairs to The Doss House for a dram or two before the movie starts.
While there is no grass to sit on, cosy bean bags and comfy deck chairs will save you from the hard cobblestones. Check the schedule here
Dates: Wednesday evenings to 23 Feb.
Where: Atherden Street The Rocks, just off George Street.
Public transport: Short walk from Circular Quay
Outdoor Cinema – Sydney Olympic Park
Sydney Olympic Park offers lots of free family activities, even more so over the summer. Perfect for school holiday fun. It is also one of only two free outdoor cinemas in Sydney.
Tip: Family-friendly films make this cinema best for kids.
Visit the website for more details.
Dates: 2021/22 dates not announced
Public transport: Train to Olympic Park or plenty of parking available (not free). Short walk to Cathy Freeman Park off Olympic Boulevard
Little Nightowls – Darling Quarter
A fun free event for the whole family with two films each night, kids feature at 6:30 pm or a grown-up movie at 8:30 pm. There are plenty of dining options nearby and parking under the Darling Quarter shops.
BYO picnic or grab dinner at one of the surrounding cafes and restaurants.
Dates: Due to start in April for 2022 – when the others have shut for the season
Transport: walk from Town Hall or Central Station
Google maps of outdoor cinema locations
View Sydney Outdoor Cinemas on a larger map
Visit Transport Info for public transport information.