Local Canberran. Reluctant member of the Smashed Avo set. Lover of the classics.
Make the most of the summer at a movie under the stars
Looking for somewhere new to take your date? Or a school holiday treat for the kids? Or a fun outing with your mates? The American Express Openair Cinema has something for every occasion.
I attended the opening night of the Openair Cinema on 11 January. The weather was perfect – much cooler than we've experienced of late, even worthy of a cardigan – and the ambience divine. It was quite a treat to venture out on a school night and sip a glass or two of wine by the lake, and in the shadow of the National Library of Australia no less. The movie, Julia Roberts' latest called Wonder, was a bit of a tearjerker (I'm clearly getting soft in my old age) but very pleasant to watch while sitting on an inflatable lounge with a slice of delicious pizza in one hand and a glass of vino in the other.
The Openair Cinema runs from 11 January – 25 February 2018 on Patrick White Lawns. Gates open at 6 pm, live music (every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night) from 7 pm, with films starting at around sunset. This was about 8:30 last night, so be prepared if you are bringing along little people.
I strongly recommend you check out the program to see the fantastic mix of films on offer. There are new releases like Breathe (1 February) and Downsizing (3 and 7 February). There are also the action-packed blockbusters like Star Wars: The Last Jedi (28 January and 5 February) and Justice League (12 January) that are sure to keep you on the end of your lounger. Then there are the cult classics Dirty Dancing (31 January) and Rocky Horror (20 February). There really is something for everyone.
There is also a variety of ticket options on offer. General admission starts from $17 (adults) with discounts available for American Express cardholders. You can hire blankets or loungers there (for $5 and $10 respectively) or take in your own picnic rugs, camp chairs or beanbags. There appears to be plenty of room. I used one of the loungers. The only thing I took: mozzie repellent (not that the bugs were a problem on the night, though you've got to give me points for thinking).
The food available for purchase was great. I shared one of the Salt Meats Cheese pizzas followed by a sneaky ice cream. Food and drink were reasonably priced and everything was served by a staff member who was friendly and had a smile on their face. And the best news? You can take your own food in. I was seriously impressed by the group of ladies who brought in a cheese platter for entrée, a gourmet salad for dinner and a homemade mudcake for dinner.
Having been recently chastised by my sister for not including my fur-nephew on my Christmas card list, I would be remiss if I did not mention that dogs are welcome at any screening. There are even doggy treats available for sale. And, to be fair, the three impeccably groomed chocolate poodles in my aisle proved to be the perfect cinema neighbours.
So what are you waiting for? That school holiday treat? How about Ferdinand(21 January) or Jumanji (21 January, 4 and 16 February) on the big screen in the open air? Or go along to the Soul Sunday sessions complete with food, live music and games for the whole family.
That night with your girlfriends? I can highly recommend Pitch Perfect 3 (6, 9 and 13 February). It's a movie for the blokes too (my big tough Army brother-in-law secretly loves it).
And that date night? There's a great film on every night but for something extra special, why not enjoy the live music on Friday and Saturday nights before settling into dinner and a movie under the stars?
See, I told you the Openair Cinema had you covered!
Parking is available at and around the National Library and is free from 5 pm at Parkes Place. Action buses also service the area.