Visitors to Melbourne this summer keen to catch the latest or greatest flicks can take advantage of Melbourne’s balmy evenings with a rug and bucket of popcorn at a growing number of outdoor cinemas popping up around the city.
Ben & Jerry’s Openair Cinemas has moved from the rooftop of the St Kilda Sea Baths to a huge new festival site on St Kilda’s South Beach Reserve. Running from 2 December 2012 to 6 January 2013, each festival night features live music, sunset drinks and gourmet food before guests settle in on picnic blankets, deckchairs and bean loungers for a movie under the stars. The Sundae Sessions incorporate games on the lawn and delicious free ice cream for punters every Sunday.
Set in the grounds of the historic Abbotsford Convent, just 5min from the city centre, Shadow Electric is one of the newer outdoor cinema experiences to enjoy this summer. As Melbourne’s only independent outdoor cinema, the program includes documentaries, short films and unreleased titles and films about music. Movie goers can try their hand at table tennis in the large outdoor courtyard and grab food and drinks from the custom designed bar and new Crêperie.
The ever popular Southbank precinct has a first for outdoor cinemas – Melbourne’s only Silent Cinema! Patrons are provided with individual headphones and audio kits to listen to the film, reclining in a beach chair to a world away from the hustle and bustle of the surrounding restaurants and shopping district.
In the heart of the city at Federation Square, visitors of all ages can pull up a deckchair, find a spot in the sun or bring their own picnic rug and enjoy free family films on Melbourne’s biggest public screen. Screening on 6 January 2013 is Dr Seuss’s Horton Hears a Who! and on 3 February, Gnomeo and Juliet.
Rooftop Cinema sits atop Curtin House – a vertical laneway that is home to numerous cool venues and boutiques in the middle of the city centre. The venue has wonderful 360 degrees view of the city skyline and a chilled out rooftop party vibe with two bars and a BBQ close at hand.
Moonlight Cinema offers arguably the most romantic experience, perched upon a hill in the middle of the Royal Botanic Gardens with the Melbourne skyline creating a dramatic backdrop. Food and drinks are available from a catering van or guests can choose to bring their own picnic (and pillows), or opt to pay that bit extra for the bean-bag comfort of ‘Gold Grass’.