American Express Openair Cinema is an outdoor cinema located on Ozone Reserve in East Perth. From March 9th to April 1st, they will be showing more movies than ever before, with live entertainment, live music, food and drink and DJ performances to entertain guests. People are welcome to bring their dogs along for a 'Doggy Date' to the cinema.
American Express cardholders will be able to enjoy 15% off selected tickets at the time of purchase and will be treated to a full VIP Experience if they purchase a ticket to the American Express Invites Lounge. If they pay to enter the lounge, they will be able to watch the movie in style in a special cushioned seat which comes with a complimentary blanket and a side-table for them to put food and drink on.
I was invited to attend the opening night of American Express Openair Cinema on March 9. I turned up with my husband and daughter. We were told the doors were going to open at 6pm. We got there 15 minutes early and joined the small line forming out the front. More and more people turned up and within minutes the line had grown behind us to stretch almost round the corner. 6pm came and went and the doors did not open. The staff were still busy putting up fencing. When they opened the gates to start letting people in it was 6.15pm. But then we had to wait some more as they slowly checked everyone's names off a list and gave everyone wrist bands.
After getting our wrist bands and getting through security, we were led to our seating area. We were given three squashy, blow up lounge seats to sit on and some blankets. Not everyone had one of these seats. Some people were sitting on the ground or on their own camping chairs. You can purchase a lounger as an extra if you have a General or Concession Ticket. A lounger is already included in the American Express Invites Lounge and Star Lounge ticket price.
I had fun doing some exploring after that. The cinema had a fun festival vibe. There was music playing and lots of food trucks to check out. The first place I went was a popcorn stand that was selling Red-Rock Sweet Chilli flavoured popcorn. Red Rock is my favourite brand of chips, so I was pretty excited when I saw they had a popcorn stand. It did not disappoint.
The next place I checked out was a Wine Tasting Bar. The clerk was very professional and knew a lot about each of the wines on display. She happily poured me a small cup of a cherry coloured wine. It was sweet and not too strong - I liked it.
The most impressive part of my experience with American Express Openair Cinema was the treats they had for dogs. There was a table with complimentary bags of dog-friendly "Pupcorn" on it and even dog-friendly home-made iced doughnuts! These were made by Gofetch Bakery.
The night took a bit of a downturn when I went to get us something to eat for dinner. There was one bar and only one food truck. The people in the food truck were catering for a private function and everyone else and were clearly over-worked. I ordered at 6.41pm and had to wait 30 minutes to get my food. I was not the only one waiting either. Lots of people were stuck in the same boat as me. One woman who was standing behind me looked positively furious. They clearly needed more than one food truck.
After I finally got my food, I was not impressed with the quality of it. I got a Vegetarian Platter and some Lamb Loaded Fries. The Vegetarian Platter was not very appetising. It was dry, plain, and flavourless and drenched in hummus.
The Lamb Loaded Fries were not that much better. The fries were soggy and weighed under way too much lamb and sour cream. We were so put off with the food, we ended up getting another bucket of popcorn to eat instead.
In another low point of the night, one of our lounge-chairs deflated. I was not impressed with that but the staff were quick to replace it and give us a new one.
The film started at 8pm. We saw The Greatest Showman. I ended up really enjoying it. The sound and picture quality was excellent. One thing that bugged me was you kind of sunk into the seats a bit which meant the screen was a bit obscured by the heads of the people in front of us. We also found it a bit hard to climb out of the seats and get to our feet. It was a bit like trying to climb out of a pool-chair.
I've been to Outdoor Cinemas before. I applaud American Express Openair Cinemas for trying to do something different and have a bit more of a festival vibe. It is possible that they were plagued by some opening night hiccups last night. It is a shame that the first half of the night did not go that well, but once the lights dimmed and the movie started, everyone settled in and had a really good time.
Where:American Express Open Air Cinema, Ozone Reserve Perth, 1 Adelaide Terrace, East Perth WA 6004
Cost:General Admission $18.00, Concession $15.00, Star Lounge $40.00, 4 for $60, Children four years and under can come for free (maximum 2 children per adult), children over the age of 5 must have a concession ticket