Things to do in Sydney

Stunning Outdoor Cinemas in Sydney

Join us as we explore the most incredible outdoor cinemas in Sydney!

If you're looking for fun things to do in Sydney, you might be overwhelmed by all the options. The city is filled with gorgeous beaches, iconic architecture, and plenty of nightlife.

But we think nothing captures the authentic spirit of Sydney like an outdoor movie. Watching a film in a wide-open space is outdoorsy and casual but still exciting and unique.

Sydney is home to some of the most beautiful outdoor venues in Australia. Whether you're looking for beachfront theaters or sunset screenings, you'll find it here.

Join us on our whirlwind tour of the best open-air cinemas Sydney has to offer.

Beachfront Cinemas

You can't truly experience Sydney without going to the beach. Breathtaking shorelines surround the city. Do yourself a favor and enjoy a film at one of these delightful beachfront cinemas.

1. Mov'in Bed Cinema

We love the unexpected, and that's why we're such big fans of Mov'in Bed cinema. Each summer, the unique pop-up cinema spreads 280 tons of sand along the shoreline, transforming Harbour Park into a white sand beach.

Have we mentioned the 150 queen-size beds positioned in front of the massive 49-foot screen that towers above the ocean? That's right, you can cozy up in bed while watching a movie on the beach!

The whole venue has a dreamy atmosphere we're obsessed with. So get comfy, and enjoy the show! Don’t worry about munching popcorn too loudly. Each visitor gets a pair of noise-cancelling headphones for an immersive viewing experience.

Mov'in Bed screens the latest blockbusters and classic films throughout the summer. You can easily access the cinema via public transport, but parking garages are also available nearby. Check out the showtimes, and order tickets early. They go quickly.

This open-air cinema is located in Barangaroo, a lively region in Central Sydney with plenty of attractions and entertainment. While you're in the area, check out Theatre Royal Sydney. The venue hosts some of the best musicals in Sydney, and it's close to numerous restaurants for an unforgettable night out.

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2. Manly Open Air Cinema

If you want more than movie night, Manly Open Air Cinema is ideal. The experience begins at Cerretti Crescent. It's a lovely tree-lined street that slopes towards the International College of Management.

Does the Victorian-style building look familiar? You might recognize it as Gatsby's mansion from the 2013 version of The Great Gatsby. Enter the campus, and find your way to the rear lawn, where food stalls wait with snacks and drinks.

The college's campus offers a fabulous mix of casual vibes and glamorous scenery. Beanbags are spread out before a massive screen while expertly manicured shrubs outline the property. Meanwhile, the college stands behind you, creating an opulent yet timeless atmosphere.

Claim your beanbag, and get some snacks. The movie won't start until after sunset, so you have time to enjoy the ambiance. The event lasts about 4 hours, making it one of the best things to do in Sydney when you have time to kill. Moviegoers of all ages are welcome, and on-site food stalls offer alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks.

Pro tip: If you're a big Gatsby fan, check the cinema's showtimes for screenings of the iconic film. The cinema is known to show the movie multiple times per year. Imagine watching The Great Gatsby on the lawn of Gatsby's mansion!

Park and Garden Cinemas

The ocean surrounding Sydney is renowned for its stunning wildlife. In fact, more than 580 species of fish live in Sydney Harbour, making it one of the most biodiverse harbors in the world.

But this region is more than an ocean lover's paradise. Exquisite plant life sprouts up all around the city, from eucalyptus trees to banksia flowers. Enjoy the local flora by seeing a film at one of Sydney's park and garden cinemas.

3. Moonlight Cinema at Centennial Park

Once you enter Centennial Park, you'll instantly understand why this open-air cinema is so popular. Evergreen oaks, eucalyptus trees, and Australian figs stretch toward the sky, blocking out the hustle and bustle of the city.

Native raspberry bushes offer their fruit to local birds, while insects snack on Clustered Darwinia flowers. It's an enchanting showcase of Sydney's wildlife, and we can't get enough!

Make your way toward Belvedere Amphitheatre on the park's east side, and you'll find a huge screen overlooking the grounds. Nearby food trucks sell delicious snacks, but you can also bring your own picnic.

Find a good spot, and enjoy the show! Moonlight Cinema at Centennial Park screens a wide selection of films, from classic favorites to the latest releases. Be sure to bring some cozy blankets. The movie starts after sunset, and the park can get cold after nightfall.

This open-air cinema is within walking distance of multiple public transport stops. There's also limited free parking if you arrive early enough.

While you're in the area, don't forget to check out The Entertainment Quarter, a nearby events space. If you get a chance, watch one of our show while you're there. Our fantastical display of acrobatics and color is always a must-see for anyone exploring Sydney.

Photographer: pattyjansen

Pop-Up Cinemas

There's something enticing about a pop-up cinema. You have to be in the right place at the right time, and if you blink, you miss it. Check out Sydney's pop-up venues for a spontaneous night under the stars.

4. Sunset Cinema North Sydney

If you're looking for a family-friendly outdoor cinema in Sydney, this one's for you. The Sunset Cinema North Sydney takes place at The Oval, a sports venue near the lovely Neutral Bay suburb. From the smell of fresh popcorn to the food trucks and bar, this is the perfect place to spend a summer evening.

The gates open at 7 p.m., but the show doesn't start until after sunset. In the meantime, head over to the North Sydney Playground. It's connected to The Oval and within walking distance, so take the kids and let them run off some energy before the movie starts.

Sunset is between 8:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., depending on the time of year, so make sure you're back at the screening area by then. You can bring your own seating or rent a comfy beanbag or lawn chair.

For an extra-special evening under the stars, splurge on the Sunset Lounge. You'll get a bigger beanbag in an exclusive section with a prime view of the screen, plus bottomless popcorn!

You can reach this outdoor cinema by public transit or car. Miller Street has several bus stops along the venue's west side. If you travel by car, you'll find two parking garages on Ridge Street. It's only a 5-minute walk from there to The Oval's entrance.

Photographer: Ben Mack

Cultural and Festival Cinemas

Sydney might be most famous for landmarks such as the Opera House, but it’s also known as the capital of Australia's film industry. Explore Sydney's cultural and festival cinemas to meet cinephiles and share your love of movies.

5. Westpac OpenAir

Westpac OpenAir is a film-lovers paradise. This venue takes you to the heart of Australia's movie industry, from the latest blockbusters to indie gems and short films. Depending on the screening, you can listen to crew members talk about their movies. Or catch glimpses of famous Australian actors like Nicole Kidman.

Beyond a look at Sydney's film industry, this cinema offers a captivating view of Sydney's skyline. The venue overlooks a slice of Sydney Harbour while the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge sit in the background. You can't get more Sydney than this!

You can access this open-air cinema by driving down Mrs Macquaries Road and using metered parking. The venue is also accessible via public transport if you're willing to walk a little bit.

We recommend riding the bus to Cahill Expressway, then taking a 20-minute walk through the Royal Botanic Garden to reach the cinema on foot. The garden is beautiful and free to enter, but you need to go early because the gates close at sunset.

Photographer: PublicDomainPictures

Community and Local Cinemas

Sydney is a huge city, but you can still find cozy areas with a small-town vibe. For a more intimate atmosphere, check out the city's community and local cinemas.

6. Laneway Cinema at The Rocks

Laneway Cinema at The Rocks is on Playfair Street, a charming and walkable region near Millers Point and Observatory Hill Park. We love this cinema for its cozy atmosphere and historical setting.

From its cobblestone streets to the heritage buildings, it transports you deep into Sydney's rich history. Plus, the area is less than a mile from the Opera House, making it an ideal location for anyone who wants to explore some iconic Sydney buildings.

Get comfy on your beanbag or lawn chair, and enjoy the show! The open-air cinema pairs its historical setting with beloved movies, such as Back to the Future and When Harry Met Sally. Every screening is free to the public, but you can buy popcorn, pizza, and wine for an extra fun night under the stars.

While you're in the area, be sure to check out the local dining and shopping destinations. The region is home to open-air markets, pubs, and unique shops with handmade goods. Set aside some time to explore before the film starts.

Photographer: berenice melis

Embrace the Stars: Your Next Unforgettable Movie Night Awaits

Sydney is filled with stunning outdoor cinemas. Whether it's a solo getaway, a date night, or an evening with friends, we hope you'll visit one of these unique venues and enjoy a movie under the stars.

And while you're in the city, don't forget to stop by one of our shows in Sydney. Let our mystical world of high-flying acrobatics and dazzling storytelling intrigue your senses as you lose yourself in the heart-pounding otherworldly adventures that play out before your eyes.

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