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Indoor Cinemas Are So Passe

By Em Allen on January 7, 2014 in

Picture: Waverly Council

Picture: Waverly Council

As soon as summer strikes, Australians love to take their dining experiences outside; fish and chips on the beach, backyard barbies and beer garden bistro meals are always a hit. So given how wonderful the weather is in this part of the world, why not indulge your cinematic cravings in an alfresco surroundings too?

The summer of outdoor film has arrived, kicked off by Tropfest in early December at Centennial Park, where 16 talented showcased their short films to an audience of around 150,000 moviegoers.

And that is just the beginning. We are truly spoilt for choice in Sydney, with so many spectacular venues in which to kick back and relax while watching your favourite flicks. Here are just a few of the film festivals and outdoor cinemas we recommend attending this summer…

Now in its 23rd year, Flickerfest is the only Academy accredited short film festival in the country, screening shorts from Australian and international filmmakers. It takes place under the stars at Bondi Pavilion from January 10 to 19. There have been over 2200 entries from around the globe this year, which highlights the festival’s international reputation. There’ll be 2:30pm, 4:30pm and 6:45pm sessions screen in the indoor theatre, and 9pm sessions will screen in the iconic outdoor amphitheatre. Be sure to pack warm clothing for the cooler nights, though cosy blankets will be for hire if you forget. The Flickerfest Beachside Bar will also be open, serving organic food and beverages at a reasonable price. Tickets are available in advance via moshtix, or can be purchased from the Flickerfest Box Office at the Bondi Pavilion one hour prior to each session. Visit to view the full program.

Ben and Jerry’s Openair Cinema lets you enjoy live music and your favourite flicks right on the beach. As dusk settles in, you have the chance to sample some awesome sounds from emerging local artists before your movie begins. Your hunger and thirst can be quenched with food and drinks from the licensed bar. Make sure to bring your picnic blankets and a few pillows to lie back on. Oh, and there’ll be plenty of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream floating around, too. Tickets are around $18 and will be on sale from January 14. The Ben and Jerry’s Openair Cinema runs until March 2. For tickets and information head to

Having started in mid-December the Moonlight Cinema runs until March 23 you and gives you the chance to watch movies on the grounds of historic Centennial Park. There are discounted tickets when you buy in bulk (20 or more), so it’s great for groups. You have the option of packing your own picnic (including alcohol), or purchasing food and drinks at the venue. Gates open at 7pm each night and screenings start at around 8:30pm. You can also upgrade to a ‘Gold Grass’ ticket, which gets you the best view on the lawn with a personal bean bed to kick back on. Head to for the full program and to purchase tickets.

Why not watch a movie set against one of the most spectacular views in the world – Sydney Harbour. This festival of film begins on January 10 and runs until February 15, so make sure you secure your tickets right away, as they always sell out fast. There’ll be plenty of posh nosh available to enjoy, with menu items including wedges of roast pumpkin, goats cheese, crisp sage and thyme, and sliced organic sourdough and grissini – enough to satisfy even the most sophisticated palette. To buy tickets, visit