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Melbourne’s best outdoor cinemas this summer

Hieu Chau

Wed Dec 03 2014


MELBOURNE’s outdoor cinemas have come out to play once again as the summer season starts to kick in. Hieu Chau presents the top four outdoor cinemas for you to check out this summer.

Why see a movie in a dark and enclosed cinema when you can be outdoors enjoying some films under the night sky instead?

Melbourne’s top four outdoor cinemas have each released their program to the public. Depending on where you’re located, what films you fancy or what you want to get out of your outdoor movie experience, we’ve got you all covered. We take a look at Ben & Jerry’s Openair Cinema, Rooftop Cinema, Moonlight Cinema and The Shadow Electric – breaking down each venue to see what they have to offer this summer!

Ben & Jerry’s Openair Cinema
November 31 – December 21; St Kilda Foreshore

Located right next to St Kilda Beach, Ben & Jerry’s Openair Cinema will be screening recent hits such as Fury and Gone Girl alongside older titles like The Breakfast Club and Jaws.

Patrons are encouraged to bring along a picnic rug and spread it out on the lawn for seating or to hire a beanbag lounger from the venue.

Apart from the outdoor cinema experience, the venue also offers live music from top Australian acts like The Cat Empire or Kate Miller-Heidke before each film, to create an even larger festive vibe down at the foreshore.

And of course, given that the Openair Cinema is sponsored by Ben & Jerry’s, the popular ice cream brand will be on sale to combat those hot summer nights. To make it even more enticing, the Openair Cinema’s Sundae Sessions offers audiences free Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream! There’s nothing better than having free ice-cream during summer!

For more information, visit Ben & Jerry’s Openair Cinema’s official website.

Rooftop Cinema
December 6 – April 2015; Curtin House (Rooftop, 252 Swanston St, Melbourne)

Enjoy a movie with a backdrop of Melbourne's city skyline on the Rooftop Cinema. Photo: Martina Gemmola

Enjoy a movie with a backdrop of Melbourne’s city skyline on the Rooftop Cinema. Photo: Martina Gemmola

Located at a very convenient location in the city (despite the fatigue one may get just from walking up all of the Curtin House’s stairs), the Rooftop Cinema’s program is rather extensive.

Extending well beyond summer, the popular outdoor cinema will be playing recent hits such as Guardians of the Galaxy and Interstellar as well as recent cult films like Under the Skin and What We Do in the Shadows.

Currently the first half of their program, which runs through to January 31, is available on the website with the second half expected to be unveiled in late January.

For more information, visit Rooftop Cinema’s official website.

Moonlight Cinema
December 4 – March 29, 2015; Royal Botanic Gardens (Birdwood Avenue, South Yarra)

Surrounded by the greenery of the Royal Botanic Gardens, the Moonlight Cinema isn’t too far from the city and hence is relatively easy to reach.

The main benefit from going to this outdoor cinema event is early advanced screenings of films yet to be released in Australia.

Anticipated titles such as Big Hero 6, The Imitation Game, Into the Woods, Taken 3 and Birdman will be gracing Moonlight Cinemas screens several days before their national release.

For any movie enthusiasts out there, Moonlight Cinema is certainly not to be missed!

For more information, visit Moonlight Cinema’s official website.

The Shadow Electric
January 2, 2015 – April 27, 2014; Abbotsford Convent (1 – 16 St Heliers Street, Abbotsford)

Image supplied.

Image supplied.

Located not too far from the city, The Shadow Electric at the Abbotsford Convent promises to deliver a program of films that embody the idea of a religious cinematic experience.

Like some of the other film outlets on this list, the Shadow Electric Cinema will have a program that extends further than than the summer season.

An interesting array of independent films have been planned this summer at the Shadow Electric, including Boyhood, Whiplash, Nightcrawler and the Japanese feature, Why Don’t You Play In Hell?.

For more information, visit The Shadow Electric’s official website.