Time Out Sydney

Do alfresco movies like an expert with Time Out’s guide to the 2014-2015 summer season


Sydney’s original outdoor film festival is 24 years young and attracts the best short films from around the world – not least because a win in one of the competition categories qualifies films for consideration for an Oscar nomination. Jan 9-18

Highlights: We love the hilarious James Bond-themed Flickerfest 2015 trailer starring Robyn Nevin, Roger Corser and supermodel Samantha Harris.

Hot tip: Keep an eye on the weather – it can be unseasonably cold down at Bondi with the wind coming right off the water. You may need to rug up.

Moonlight Cinema

This year’s program in the laid-back surrounds of Centennial Park is packed with preview screenings. There’s a food truck selling wagyu cheeseburgers, Buffalo fried chicken, churros, and more. There’s also a bar – although you can bring your own drinks and eats too. Dec 11-Mar 29

Highlights: American Sniper; Gone Girl; Big Hero 6; The Shawshank Redemption.

Hot tip: Bring your pooch along to Doggie Nights screenings on Thursdays. Because dogs like films, too.

Movies by the Boulevard

This one’s a good family night out (although some of the movies this year are a bit scary for younger children). It’s free, and there’s food and drink available, but bring your own picnic blanket. Pre-film kids’ activities are happening on selected nights. Jan 3-18.

Highlights: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes; Mr Peabody and Sherman; The LEGO Movie; Godzilla.

Hot tip: Pre-book your parking online ($25) or better still, come by train.

St George OpenAir Cinema

The most glam of the outdoor cinemas and a first-class summer date night is St George OpenAir. From your allocated seats in the stadium you can watch the screen rise up over the water, with the Opera House and Bridge as the backdrop. There’s a big bar, and food available. Jan 7-Feb 21

Highlights: Unbroken; The Dark Horse; Rosewater; Wild; Foxcatcher.

Hot tip: Even in bad weather it’s a fun night out – they’ll provide you with free ponchos against the rain.

Ben & Jerry's Openair Cinema

This popular season now offers live music every day from 6pm before the movie (included in the ticket price). Acts include Husky, Saint Abbé, Ally & Hannah and Lady Lyon. Sundays offer Sundae Sessions, with games on the lawn, up-and-coming local music acts and unlimited free Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Unlimited! Jan 22-Mar 1.

Highlights: The Imitation Game; Birdman; Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind; Frozen Sing-a-long.

Hot tip: A Volkswagen Polo Class ticket ($27) includes reserved premium seating with a blanket and cushion, a drink and a Ben & Jerry’s shortie. You can also pre-order pizza online.

Sunset Cinema

Formerly known as Starlight Cinema, Sunset Cinema screens new releases, golden oldies and family classics on North Sydney Oval. A range of movie/snacking packages are available. Jan 22-Mar 28.

Highlights: Grease; Breakfast at Tiffany’s; The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.

Hot tip: It’s right next door to recently revamped bowls club the Greens – get sharing plates and cocktails with great views then wander next door for the show.

Skyline Drive-In Blacktown

Enjoy all the holiday movies like it’s 60 years ago at Sydney’s only drive-in cinema. It’s been renovated to follow a 1950s theme, with diner food like hamburgers, hot dogs, shakes and banana splits served by staff in era-appropriate costume. Daily.

Highlights: Necking in the back seat and steaming up the windows.

Hot tip: If you want to enjoy the open air take the ‘Gold Grass’ option and sit in one of the deckchairs.

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Updated on 28 Apr 2015.

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