Summer is no doubt the greatest time of year. But with so much to do and see around Sydney how do you balance your time indoors and outdoors? American Express and Bondi may have a solution for you. Welcome to the American Express Openair Cinemas at Bondi Beach. There is no better way to take in the evening sunshine, the calmness of the crashing waves and the starry night sky, all while catching one of the latest and greatest new release flicks. Openair Cinema takes advantage of the picturesque beachside views of Bondi, all while offering the creature comforts you'd expect from any good outdoor cinema. There is wine tasting, a selection of essential food and beverages, as well as a distinct summer vibe.
Gates open each night at 6pm, with film sessions beginning at sunset. This essentially means that each showing starts around 8:30pm. What sets the American Express Openair Cinema apart from the rest, however, is the special pre-screening entertainment. This leaves plenty of time for fun and games. This year's Openair Cinema will offer a range of live music prior to sundown, highlighting different local artists depending on the night of the week. It is the perfect accompaniment to the extremely chilled out beachside atmosphere.
Friday Nights are set to feature the Pepsi Max DJs spinning the latest summer anthems. Each Saturday will also feature Visit Victoria showcasing the vibrant cultural scene of the great southern state. This will include samples of the many sights, sounds and tastes of Melbourne. Sunday's will also be something to look forward to, with a food waste prevention initiative hosted by Oz Harvest. Known as "Soul Sunday's", the event will feature delicious food sampling, music, trivia and games for the entire family. Best of all, Openair Cinema will donate $3 from each ticket purchased to provide six meals to those in need.
Food aficionados will also have the opportunity to take part in a series of alfresco long table dinners, featuring Italian cuisine courtesy of Salt Meats Cheese. Each delicious three-course meal will include paired wine, with each unique event being one-of-a-kind. Purveyors of fine food Stefano De Blasi and Edoardo Perlo will also be curating the Openair Cinema menu. Some of the options will include Truffle Pecorino Pasta, arancini antipasti and everyone's favourite wood-fired pizzas. Ben and Jerry's famous ice creamery also returns this year with all their favourite flavours, including Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Caramel Cheesecake. Guests can choose to either have a few scoops or an entire pint. Red Rock Deli popcorn will also be on offer for those who can't do without their favourite movie snack.
The best bet is to arrive early once gates open to claim your spot. Loungers are available for an additional fee while booking tickets. Claiming your lounger is a breeze. Just check in at the entrance and receive your additional wristband. From then it's first in best dressed, which allows you to choose your desired angle to take in the evening's festivities.
American Express Card members also receive a range of special benefits, including the ability to purchase exclusive access to the American Express Invites Lounge. Guests can also present their American Express Card at the blanket kiosk to receive a complimentary blanket. That's not all. American Express Card members also receive 15% off the regular ticket price.
If you are not an American Express Card holder you can always splurge and purchase tickets for the Star Lounge. Tickets include a reserved lounger, warm blanket hire to protect you from beach breezes and wait service straight to your seat. A glass of Giesen wine is also included for the price of $40. Tickets include a reserved section of seats, however, they are not allocated, so its first in best dressed.
Lounger hire cost $9 and blanket hire cost $5. If you are not willing to hire a lounger or a blanket, then you are most welcome to set up your own picnic on Bondi's famous Dolphin Lawn hill. General admission each night costs $20, however, it's advisable to book early. Additional food and beverage packages are also available when you book online.
Lovebirds we'll also be pleased to know that Valentines Day will feature an exclusive screening of Crazy Stupid Love, which is sure to provide ample opportunities for cuddles under the stars. Best of all, there is plenty of adjacent beachside parking, with pass outs being available so guests can get the essentials out of their car.
Openair Cinemas also provides the opportunity for guests to bring along a "doggy date" to share in their extravagant outdoor movie adventure. In what is affectionately known as the VID treatment (that is Very Important Dog to the uninitiated), guests can purchase a pawfect picnic platter of doggy doughnuts courtesy of Darby's Dog Bakery & Deli. In addition to this, pedantic pet owners can also hire specially designed canine couches. The dog-friendly environment adds to the already fun and family-friendly atmosphere.
In short, Bondi Openair Cinemas is one of the must-attend events this summer, and it's definitely giving Sydney's other notable outdoor cinemas a run for their money. Make sure to check it out this February and March.