Freelance writer, mum of two who loves living in sunny Perth.
Published December 16th 2013
Don't forget your bug spray
Being blessed with long hot Summers, Perth is a simply perfect city to play home to a range of open air movie experiences. Watching a movie outdoors is a great way to catch a flick out in the fresh air, under the stars and in a relaxed super chilled environment. Here are some top choices where you can watch a movie alfresco. Look out for the ones labelled FREE for the ultimate frugal outing.
Kings Park - Maltesers Moonlight Cinema. Starting up on 11 December and running until 30 March, this open air cinema at Kings Park is a great night out offering a mix of both new and old films to suit a variety of tastes. Adult prices are $16 each but you can save money by going on a Thursday where tickets are reduced to $12. Tickets can be purchased online or at the box office. In the event of rain where a movie will be cancelled, tickets are transferred into a redeemable voucher for future use. You can BYO food and alcohol or you can purchase refreshments when there. This is a great venue for a picnic at dusk in a beautiful park followed by a movie under the stars; perfect date night.
Camelot Outdoor Cinema: Set inside a walled garden, this Art Deco setting is the perfect place to watch an outdoor movie this Summer in a more intimate environment. This is a fully licensed venue, so you can buy your drinks and snacks here. If you are planning a romantic evening, puchase the gourmet hamper for $44.50 which includes cheese, pate, dips, olives, crackers, macarons, chocolate bombs and a soft drink. Perfect for two. Seating is a bit of a mishmash here, and if you're wanting a bit of comfort, try to nab the beanbags. Your bottom will thank you for it. All films commence at 8.15pm, however, gates open at 6.30pm and it's a lovely venue to enjoy before the movie starts with chilled out music and some great beers on offer . Camelot Outdoor Cinema is located at 16 Lochee St, Mosman Park.
Located in the courtyard area of its popular Luna Cinemas, this outdoor cinema provides a chilled environment featuring funky beanbags to really relax and enjoy your movie on. Based at 155 Oxford Street Leederville (in the Luna Palace cinema complex), the movies shown offer a nice change from the norm with films that you won't always find at your local cinema.
bamBOO Outdoor This is the latest offering from the Luna Palace guys and is located just behind Luxe Bar in Highgate. Presented in partnership with Luxe Bar, this outdoor movie experience opens on 18 December to provide cinemagoers with a relaxed amphitheatre style seating environment where the evening can kick off in the Luxe Bar and include pizzas delivered from neighbouring Ace Pizzas. This could easily be your one stop shop for an evening out. Movies shown at bamBoo include modern favourites, and cult classics. Something for everyone, with screening from Wednesday to Sunday whilst the Summer warmth holds out.
Tickets at the Luna's outdoor theatres cost $17.50 for adults.
McDonalds Movies by Burswood. Operating out of four venues (Burswood, Bassendean, Curtin and Mandurah), this open air experience runs to help raise funds for a number of vital children's charities. So when you opt for your night at the movies here, your money is going towards a worthy cause. In addition to the movie experience, you can make the most of your evening by also ordering dinner at the movies with great cheese platters, pizza and other yummy refreshments to choose from. This is a fully licensed venue so no BYO here. Adult tickets cost $13 but for the ultimate swanky date night you could consider splurging on the Waterwise La Grasserie couples ticket for $87 which includes admission, bean bag hire, wine, pizza, garlic bread, cheeses, maltesers and ice cream. This is only available at Curtin and Burswood. The season starts on 15 December and there's a calendar of movie events currently scheduled up until the 9 February. A highlight of the season are the Chinese New Year fireworks on the 8 February 2014 presented by Crown Casino.
Roof Top Movies in the City . The Rooftop Movies are a popular choice for those heading into the city where you are an elevator ride away from deck chair cinema viewing. Expect to see a real mix of films here, from old favourites, cult classics and even a few new releases. This is a bargain option too, with tickets only costing $10. There are also some family films on offer in addition to a comprehensive array of other blockbusters. Have a look at the program of events here, there's something on for everyone. Open from 17 December right until the end of February.
Kookaburra Outdoor Cinema - Mundaring The Kookaburra Outdoor Cinema is a favourite for those living or staying in the hills with over 300 seats in the main area, but also offering plenty of room around this area for those seasoned outdoor cinemagoers who have their own (comfy) chairs and paraphenalia. Surrounded by the beautiful scenery of the State Forest, you can even watch your movie and camp overnight at the Hills National Parks Visitor Centre. This casual outdoor cinema is situated on Allen Road in Mundaring, near to the Weir. Gates open at 6:30pm and shows start at 8:00pm. Adults $13 and Children $8. The open season is from November until April when the sun is still keeping the rain away.
Galaxy Drive In Cinema Perth's only drive in theatre is included in this list as it's an outdoor screen so makes the grade at being an alfresco viewing experience. Located in Kingsley on Goollelal Drive with prices of around $10 per adult, this is a great retro feel experience that the whole family can enjoy. Sit in your car and tune in your radio to the drive in radio channel for your movie audio, or get out of your car, sit in the boot, or bring chairs and enjoy the movie experience from the speakers around the area. Lots of refreshments are on offer and as gates open at 6.30pm you could easily grab a snack here for your dinner. Double bills (two films a night) are the norm here, so that adds to the value of the experience.
Northbridge Piazza Including highlights such as Flicks for Kids and also Festive Flicks this is a great budget friendly option for when you are bringing the family into the city. The Flicks for Kids FREE program of films enters its fourth successful year this season and you don't even have to book. This outdoor cinema is a big hit for families in Perth, Just check out what's on offer this season, and get planning your trip into the city. The big screen is utilized throughout the year so look out for special events here.
Don't forget to also keep an eye out for local events. Last Summer saw an array of community events offering free films for families and this is a great way to get out for some family fun with your only outlay being the price of popcorn. A recent newcomer to the free outdoor movie movement is the Live in the Amphitheatre program being offered by the City of Wanneroo. Lots of free family fun starting from January 31st. For those in Fremantle, keep an eye out for free movie fun at the Movies in the Square - City of Fremantle.
Highlights of the 2013/14 Season: Dirty Dancing - Kings Park - Thursday 2 January
Sing-a-long Grease - Kings Park - Thursday 9 January
Polar Express - Northbridge - Saturday 21 December
Love Actually - bamBOO Outdoor - Friday 20 December
Labyringth - Luna Outdoor - Sunday 15 December
Footloose - bamBoo Outdoor - Friday 27 December
Back to the Future - bamBoo Outdoor - Sun 19 January
The Book Thief - Camelot Outdoor - Wed 8 January
Unchartered Water - Camelot Outdoor - Tuesday 21 January
Where the Wild Things Are - Rooftop Movies - Sunday 15 December
Anchorman - Rooftop Movies - Tuesday 17 December
Dumbo and Bambi - Movies by Burswood Saturday 25 January
Thor - Movies by Burswood - Thursday 26 December
If you've not been before, here are a couple of tips:
Dress for all weather. It might start out warm and balmy when the film commences, but temperatures do drop, so bring a jumper or light blanket for optimum comfort.
Bring bug spray (lots of it). I have been bitten to pieces every time I see an outdoor movie at night. I'm not sure whether I have tasty blood or not, but I wouldn't even contemplate heading out without my bug spray now.
Chairs are invariably not of the comfy variety at the outdoor cinemas, so unless you bag a bean bag (literally), take a cushion for your deck chair or metal chair so that you don't end up sore from your evening viewing.
Take a torch. Not necessary at the Luna Cinema venues, but at Kings Park and Burswood etc, a torch will help you meander through the crowds when you're heading for refreshments and can also help you make your way back to the crowd.
Refreshments. Check what your venue allows you to take. You might be able to take all of your own refreshments and BYO alcohol, but it's worth checking first to save frustrations later on. Some of the venues featured above are fully licensed and have limits on what food items you can also take with you. If in doubt just check with venue themselves.
*Check the weather. Obviously for the free venues, there's no contingency if rain does occur; in some cases they may show the movie on another night. However, for paid venue, there is usually the option to change your void ticket for a future showing. Check with the venue on their refund/exchange policy in the event of inclement weather.