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Nelson Bay Cinema

Home > Port Stephens > Cinema | Family | Rainy Day | School Holiday Activities | School Holidays
by Sue W (subscribe)
Lover of exploring, family, food and fun!
Published July 26th 2019
Step back in time at this cute independent cinema
Nelson Bay Cinema is located at the end of the Cinema Mall, right in the heart of Nelson Bay. It is in a tucked-away location opposite Nelson Bay Woolworths - which is handy if you want to pick up some sugary snacks before you go in. The cinema is a small, independent cinema which has only three screens, however, it offers all the latest release movies. It may not be the biggest movie cinema you have ever been to, or the most modern, but if you think back to the small cinemas of your own childhood, then it will be a comforting step back in time. If you're late to a movie, don't despair, they still walk you to your seat with a torch!

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The entrance to Nelson Bay Cinema, at the end of Cinema Mall


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Ticket counter and Candy Bar in the small foyer


My daughter and I visited Nelson Bay Cinema for the first time during the winter school holidays. From the front of the arcade, we could tell that the cinema would be small and dated, so we weren't too surprised to walk into the little foyer at the cinema. We were glad that we didn't pick a busy day, as it may have been a tight fit if there were a lot of people waiting.

The staff were friendly and the popcorn was fresh, however we felt that the pricing was quite high for such a small cinema, in our opinion (see prices here). If you plan to visit regularly, then purchasing the VIP card for $25 is good value, or go to Crazy Day Tuesdays during term time, at a cost of $11 a ticket. One thing you can't fault however, is their range of movies!

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See all the latest releases at Nelson Bay Cinema. Image: Original images from Nelson Bay Cinema website


The movie that we were seeing was located in Cinema 2, which was located up a steep set of stairs on the next level (directly next to Cinema 1). The stairs were quite steep, with no lift available - so if you are looking for wheelchair access or have problems with walking upstairs, then Cinema 3 is the only accessible cinema.

Cinema 2 itself was long and narrow, with a steep set of stairs in the centre and comfortable soft seats either side (3 on one side, 4 on the other). The screen may not be as large as in the bigger cinema's, but it had Dolby surround sound and cute, old-school atmosphere. Watching the movie felt like an "experience", more than the larger, modern cinemas. We soon got over the disappointment of wanting a larger cinema and sat back and appreciated the old-school charm of Nelson Bay Cinema.

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Retro and comfortable - with only 5 of us in the cinema!


This small business employs local people and it is the only cinema in the region. The closest cinemas are at Raymond Terrace (35 minutes away), Kotara and Charlestown in Newcastle (55 minutes away) and Green Hills in Maitland (50 minutes), so it is the place to watch a movie in town.

In today's world, we get used to watching movies on large Smart TV's in our own homes, with our own surround sound and comfortable seating, so when we go out to a movie cinema, we expect something more. Nelson Bay Cinema is the complete opposite - there are no reclining seats, no huge cinema screens and no spacious rows of seating. It takes you back to yesteryear, to a time when going to the cinema was much simpler and our expectations weren't so high. So take this cute, little cinema for what it is - a step back in time that makes you remember the reason why you went to the cinema in the first place - for the movie.

We can't wait to go back again next holidays!

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See all the latest movies - with much less people!

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Why? School holiday fun in Nelson Bay
When: See website for session times
Phone: 02) 4981 2320
Where: Cinema Mall, Stockton St, Nelson Bay NSW 2315
Cost: Adults $17, Concession/ Student $14.50, Child (age 4 - 14) $12.50
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