Fun Sydney Outdoor Cinemas for Summer 2023

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 are pleased to say there are still some free options to help the budget!

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. This year the Moonlight Cinema has two locations in Sydney. Centennial Park and Lizard Log in Western Sydney Parklands.

Moonlight Cinema Sydney
BYO food and drinks make this cinema a popular choice

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: 24 Nov 22 – 26 March 23 Moonlight Cinema is closed on Mondays.
Cost: Adults $25-$41 or blow the budget with the $150 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. Lizard Log is best reached by car.

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.

outdoor cinema sydney
A movie and a view!

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

  • Casual Dining by Mike at The Point – from Kitchen by Mike open to all ticket holders
  • Mike’s Menu in The Chandon Garden – Classic Mike cuisine with bubbles!
  • Whispering Angel by Mike – a premium restaurant experience with table service with grand stand seating for the movie.

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: 8 January to 21 February 2023 – Tickets on sale now
Cost: Movie only $36 in the general admission area. $45-$75 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 light.

Outdoor cinema at North Sydney oval
The North Sydney Sunset Cinema

For a special treat book the Tim Tam lounge package:

  • Premium bean lounger
  • Prime viewing position in exclusive area
  • A special Tim Tam treat
  • Bottomless Popcorn

BYO food and soft drinks – no glass or alcohol allowed or grab a meal from the Greens who will provide on site catering each night.

Tip: Great for last-minute seats as this large cinema is rarely sold out although the Tim Tam lounge package does.

This cinema is not pet-friendly, so if you have a dog phobia you are in luck!

Dates: Screening from 12 January to 1 April 2023
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 for the program

Free Laneway Cinema – The Rocks

Not quite the same experience as the others, the Laneway Cinema at the Rocks has a few things going for it. Firstly, it’s free so no need to be organised for this one and secondly it’s 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 1 March 2023.
Where: Atherden Street The Rocks, just off George Street.
Cost: Free
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.

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

Visit the website for more details.

Dates: 4-19 January 2023
Cost: Free
Public transport: Train to Olympic Park or plenty of parking available (not free). Short walk to Cathy Freeman Park off Olympic Boulevard.

Free Movies in Darling Quarter

Darling Harbour Outdoor Cinema

Darling Quarter is partnering with Warner Bros. Discovery to celebrate 100 years of Warner Bros. Studio. January 12-29. Nightly screenings will feature blockbuster films, family favourites and Oscar-winning classics. 

A fun free event for the whole family with two films each night, kids feature at 6pm or a grown-up movie at 8:30pm. 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.

Check out the list of movies here 

Dates: 12-29 January, 6pm and 8.45pm sessions
Cost: Free
Transport: walk from Town Hall or Central Station

Movies In The Park Strathfield

Strathfield Council will host 3 movie nights this summer

Dates: 11 Feb, 25 Feb, 11 March- the movie screens at sunset
Where: Strathfield Park
Cost: Free
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.

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