Sydney’s Outdoor Cinema’s

outdoor cinema sydney
Sydney seems to love nothing more in summer than a watching a movie under the stars.  Over the last decade, summer outdoor cinemas have sprung up across Sydney.  Here is our guide to this year’s offerings.   We would love to hear which is your favourite.
Updated Jan 7 2019

St George Open Air Cinema – Sydney Harbour 

St George Open Air Cinema
The St George Cinema  wins for location at Mrs Macquarie Point

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. This year food is being catered by Chiswick Restaurant with food prices from $8-25. Premium dining is available and catering is by Aria.

We have attended this cinema several times at our own expense and it is by far our favourite for quality and comfort.

Dates: 8 January – 16 February 2019

Cost: Tickets available from Ticketmaster $40 ($36 plus booking fee). Tickets may be available at the gate but often sell out in advance.

Transport: Walk from Martin Place or Circular Quay Station.  Try to leave the car at home, parking very limited in this area.

Tip:  This cinema sells out very quickly – especially Valentine’s day.  Bring your $$$ it is not BYO.

Visit the St George Open air website

American Express Open Air Cinema – Bondi Beach 

Bondi Beach outdoor cinema

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. Gates open from 6 pm and the movie here begins around 8:30 pm

Get there early to get a beanbag chair before they run out.  We arrived about 2 hours before the movie started and it was nice to be able to relax and catch up while the sunset.  My tip, avoid the back of the hill bar the bar cause it gets a bit distracting when they start to pack up towards the end of the movie.

There are a bunch of American Express Open Air cinemas this year and they are all dog-friendly:-)

Dates: 23 January to 03 March 2019

Cost: $20-40 depending on how many perks your order.  Deal 4 tickets for $70. Beanbags 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.

Tip: Arrive early for the pre-movie music.  Bring a jacket – it can get pretty cool by the ocean at night.

Visit the Bondi Open Air cinema website 

Moonlight Cinema – Belvedere Amphitheatre Centennial Park

Moonlight cinema

The Moonlight Cinema has the longest season offering over 3 months of movies.  Bring a picnic and a rug and head to our biggest city park for a movie under the stars.

Movies start between 8pm and 8.30pm depending on sunset times.  Dogs are allowed on leash and you can BYO your own food and drinks so this is certainly a family and budget-friendly venue.

Dates: 29 November to 31 March 2019. Gates open at 7pm and movies start at 8.30pm. Both times half an hour earlier in March.

Cost: Adults $20-$35   Kids $15

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.

Tip: If you are looking to impress on the first date the “Gold Grass” ticket includes a bean bed.  These are also available to purchase on the night if you arrive before they sell out. Moonlight Cinema is closed on Mondays.

American Express Openair Cinemas – Inner West

We enjoyed a jug of Pimms on our visit!

This is a new venue for outdoor cinema but I think it will be a popular one.  On the grounds of Sydney’s oldest university and close to transport. This cinema is more than just dog-friendly with free dog couches and treats.

Food and drink packages are available to purchase before or on arrival however prices are cheaper if you prepay.

Dates: 10 Jan – 17 Feb 17 2019

Cost: $20 adults, $17 kids

Transport: Buses to the University of Sydney depart from Stand ‘C’ at Railway Square, outside Central Station in the Sydney CBD.

Sunset Cinema North Sydney – North Sydney Oval 

Outdoor cinema at 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 starts to rain head for the stands to watch the end of the film. Gates open at 7 pm.

Dates: 17 January to 2 March 2019

Cost: from $20 pre-purchased to $45 for a ticket that includes some food and drinks and a bean bed.

Public transport:  Bus from North Sydney or Wynyard station

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!

Visit the Cinema website

Movies by the Boulevard – 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.

Dates:  Wed to Sunday in January Check the website for dates.

Cost: Free

Public transport:  Train to Olympic Park or plenty of parking available (not free).  Short walk to Cathy Freeman Park off Olympic Boulevard

Tip: Family friendly films make this cinema best for kids.

Visit the Movies by the Boulevard website for more details.

Little Nightowls – Darling Quarter

Darling Harbour Outdoor Cinema

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:  Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights from  4- 20 January 2019

Cost: Free

Transport: walk from Town Hall or Central Stations

Check out the list of movies here 

Mov’IN Bed – The Entertainment Quarter

If the idea of sitting on the grass or a picnic blanket is not your idea of comfort you might enjoy this outdoor cinema with beds!  This set up in Moore Park is the biggest bed cinema in the world.  The cinema has 150 queen size beds with comfy pillows and blankets to keep you warm.

You can order food when you buy your tickets or arrive early and dine in one of the great restaurants in the Entertainment Quarter.  If you plan to drive there is free parking on offer.

Gates open at 7 pm and movies start about 8:30 pm

Dates: 30 November to 17 Feb 2019

Cost:  Beds can take 1-3 people – tickets start from $37 plus booking fee, General admission without beds is a

Transport: Buses from Central station – 339, 374, 376, 391, M10

Tip: Arrive early to grab your preferred bed.

Visit the website for this seasons program.

Google maps of outdoor cinema locations


View Sydney Outdoor Cinemas in a larger map

Visit 131500.com.au for public transport information.

Have you visited any of these cinemas?  Which is your favourite?

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