Freelance writer and photographer with an interest in science communication. Always looking for new experiences and discoveries!
Possibly Perth's most chilled cinema experience
Perth must be one of the best spots for outdoor cinema – with our relatively mild weather, clear skies and outdoor parks aplenty. The American Express Openair Cinema in East Perth is a great spot to try out if you're looking for something ultra-chilled within easy striking distance of the city. In fact, it's so chilled you can bring your pooch too.
There's a mini market vibe at Openair, with music, a food truck and popcorn cart, a bar and (on the night we visited) wine tasting with Giesen Wines. There's also plenty of room to move, so pre-show is an ideal time to stretch the legs, catch up with friends and enjoy some food and drink while you wait for the sun to sink. The Bar and Sultan Pepper (food) menus are both available online for those that like to plan ahead.
Once darkness descends and the Perth skyline starts glittering it's show time. The movie kicked off around 7.30pm and there was a surprisingly good view from our bean loungers. Sound was also spot on. If lengthy cinema advertising irks you, you'll pleased to know there's none of that here. Just some short, snappy sponsor messages.
If you want to travel light, or maybe even head out afterwards, the easy option is to add a bean lounger (unreserved) or blanket hire to your ticket. They take a little manoeuvring but once you figure out the sweet spot they are pretty comfy. Later in the season, there may be a little chill in the air so a blanket is recommended.
To enjoy more perks you can also upgrade to Star Lounge for a reserved bean lounger, blanket hire, a glass of Giesen wine and wait service to your seat. If you're an AMEX customer you save 15% on tickets or, even better, access the VIP area which includes a lounger, cushion, blanket, Ben & Jerrys ice cream, popcorn and a glass of Giesen wine all delivered to you for $30!
While some of the ordering systems were a tad clumsy, it's easily overlooked as service was attentive and consistently friendly all night. While you can bring some of your own gear, there's no BYO alcohol, glass or sharp knives and bags are given a quick check on arrival. It's a cashless event so make sure you bring your card.
The American Express Openair Cinema is held at Ozone Reserve, with entry from Plain Street. It's a decent walk from the train stations but there are buses nearby. There are also close parking options available and we had no trouble finding a spot in the early evening.
Openair is the perfect size – small enough to guarantee no queues and a good view, large enough to offer great perks. You can easily book tickets online, but hurry as the 2018 season is about to end. This is probably one of the most chilled outdoor cinemas in Perth, with the bonus of latest release movies showing.