Life Travel The best outdoor cinemas around the country

The best outdoor cinemas around the country

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Is there a more perfect way to spend a hot summer’s night?














St George OpenAir Cinema

Screening 15 premieres and previews between January 10 and February 15 2014, the iconic summer cinema promises to keep Sydneysiders captivated for 34-nights straight, which is no mean feat with the twinkling skyline, Harbour Bridge and illuminated Opera House serving as a stunning backdrop.

Taking up residence in one of the city’s most scenic spots – Fleet Steps, Mrs Macquarie’s Point next to the Royal Botanic Garden –tickets go on sale on December 17.














Rooftop Movies
Palm Springs meets Perth at this pop-up rooftop paradise. Carpeted with astro-turf and studded with kitsch pink flamingoes, the urban oasis will be basking in its retro glory until the end of April. Cinemagoers can grab dinner and drinks from vintage caravans before settling into black-and-white striped deckchairs for a night under the stars.

And if you enjoyed watching the sun sink below the skyline, greet it the following day with an early-morning yoga session. Classes take place on top of the six-storey building from Monday to Friday throughout summer.














Moonlight Cinema
For a few months each year New Farm Park, nestled in the shadows of Brisbane Powerhouse, turns into an open-air arena as contemporary and classic film screenings join the arts venue’s already jam-packed entertainment schedule.

You have until February 23 to grab a beanbag and take in a movie under the heritage-listed ‘aerosol art’ that is sprayed across the ex-industrial building’s brick walls. Moonlight Cinema events also take place in green spaces in Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.














The Shadow Electric
From documentaries and cult classics to short films and new releases, the eclectic line-up of movies screened in a courtyard at Abbottsford Convent are viewed, rather fittingly, from director chairs.

Food vans and an in-house bar serve refreshments and, before settling in for a moonlit movie, cinemagoers are encouraged to put their ping pongs skills to the test. You have until March 9 to attend a screening and claim your title as table tennis champion.














Openair Cinemas

Music and movies are equally important when it comes to Canberra’s Openair Cinemas program. Kicking off on February 14 in its new Commonwealth Park location overlooking Lake Burley Griffin, expect sets from emerging and established local musicians and free ice cream-fuelled Sundae Sessions. If you are more of a singer than a spectator, join in one of the karaoke-style Grease sessions and serenade your mates as the sun goes down.

Similar events take place in Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney. And if you can’t wait till February, Sunset Cinema runs for a few more days at Black Mountain in the National Botanic Gardens.














Secret Garden Cinema

From the old-school lamppost and white picket fence out front to the flower-filled ‘secret’ garden at the back, The White House offers cinemagoers a charming escape to the country.

A 30-minute drive from the CBD in Hahndorf, Adelaide Hills, this quaint restaurant supplies popcorn and gourmet picnic baskets to accompany Sunday-night showings of themed films – the 2014 season sees a line-up that includes fringe festival favourites and a tribute to Aussie director Baz Luhrman.














Deckchair Cinema

Forget popcorn rustling, the only background noise you’ll hear at this outdoor screen set in tropical gardens on the edge of Darwin Harbour is the sound of cicadas chirping. Home of the Darwin Film Society, a team of volunteers are responsible for the annual program of Australian and foreign films – 60% of which are not screened anywhere else in Darwin.

Currently closed for the wet season, screenings start on April 16 ­– be sure to book your spot on one of the 250 deckchairs and help celebrate the cinema’s 20th birthday.

… and around the world














Hot Tub Cinema

If deckchairs and beanbags are starting to feel a little passé, grab your swimmers and hop in a hot tub for a truly immersive cinema experience.

This pop-up event – featuring 20 tubs, two screens and a bespoke surround-sound system – takes place on rooftops and in riverside parks across East London. The watery fun is quickly catching on – an Australian version is launching on the roof of Melbourne’s Prince Hotel in St Kilda on December 20.














Film on the Rocks
On the outskirts of Denver the stunning Red Rocks Amphitheatre plays host to the film screenings and live music throughout the summer months.

Experience the sheer enormity of this natural venue for yourself – grab a couple of cushions and join the locals on the stone steps as they prepare for an evening of all-time movie greats.














The Galileo
Cape Town
What’s the best way to appreciate the Mother City’s natural beauty? From an open-air cinema, of course.

The lucky people of Cape Town have not one, not two, but three outdoor cinemas to choose from in three stunning locations – from Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and the V&A Waterfront at the foot of Table Mountain to the rocky surrounds of Hillcrest Quarry.














Orange Cinema

Celebrating its 25th birthday next year, film fans across Europe flock to the shores of Zurich’s lake to watch movies on a screen that almost seems to be floating above the water.

Catering for 160,000 cinephiles every year, the event also takes place in the stunning Swiss cities of Basel, Bern and Geneva.














Cinespia Cemetery Screenings
Los Angeles
Rub shoulders, metaphorically speaking, with some of Hollywood’s greats at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery on Santa Monica Boulevard. The final resting place of actors such as Rudolph Valentino, Los Angeles’ oldest burial grounds makes for a popular alfresco auditorium.

Unsurprisingly, Halloween screenings attract an especially gruesome audience.

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