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Top 10 Outdoor Cinemas in Melbourne

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by Barry J (subscribe)
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Published November 10th 2017
The Best Things in Life are Outdoors
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The Cinema Starts with the Sun Sets (by Sunset Cinema)

Cinemas offer an escape from the weather to enjoy a blockbuster in air-conditioned comfort, but during summer, escape into Melbourne's best outdoor cinemas to watch the the latest films as the sun sets. Choose from these top 10 outdoor cinemas for the best movie magic in Melbourne.

Rooftop Cinema - Melbourne CBD - 2 December 2017 to March 2018
The outdoor cinema starts at 9pm on the rooftop of Curtin House, 252 Swanston the east, but you'll keep warm in the beds, big enough for 3 people.

The rooftop restaurants bring cinema comfort food, including burgers and fries, handmade choc-tops and bags of popcorn, with Mexican flavours from Mesa Verde.

The season includes premieres - Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi, Girls Trip, and American Made, and fan favourites - Casablanca, The Goonies, Love Actually, Labyrinth, Die Hard, and La La Land.

Tickets start at $22 for adults, or $18 for concession. Book tickets at Rooftop Cinema

American Express Openair Cinemas - St Kilda - 30 November to 20 December 2017
On the South Beach Reserve, next to the St Kilda Sea Baths, roll out the rug or slouch in a cushioned lounger.

Rebadged by American Express after Ben and Jerry brought the ice cream last year, the 2018 season of 15 films includes new releases - Thor: Ragnarok, Blade Runner 2049, Battle of the Sexes and Bad Moms 2, and retro classics - Love Actually, Elf and Dirty Dancing.

Sip a sundowner, wine or craft beer with a dinner of a wood-fired margherita, prawn, or chilli pork sausage pizza with Italian fries, calamari or a Rucola salad. Swipe your Amex card for a 15% discount on the $20 tickets or $17 for concessions. Book tickets at American Express Openair Cinemas.

Cameo Cinemas - Belgrave - 12 to 28 January 2018
Throughout summer, above this 1930s cinema on 1628 Burwood Highway, will feature a mix of cult classics and 2017/18 blockbusters.

This historic theatre, opening at the height of the golden age of cinema, also shows films in the Art Deco indoor cinemas, with a bar serving local craft beer, wine and snacks.

The outdoor cinema summer program will be announced shortly. To view session times for the indoor and outdoor theatres, visit the Cameo Cinemas website.

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Outdoor Cinema in Style (by American Express Openair Cinemas)

Barefoot Cinema - Portsea, Arthurs Seat - 27th December 2017 to 27th January 2018
In Point Nepean National Park, footwear is optional once you've found your seat at this outdoor cinema, surrounded by the enchanting sights and sounds of native wildlife in Point Nepean National Park and Port Phillip Bay. The 11-film program, a mix of classics and new releases, begins after Boxing Day with Dirty Dancing, continuing with Atomic Blonde, Harry Potter, American Made and Bridget Jones Diary.

The dining menu, prepared by Martha's Table, matches the views, with local ingredients for the fish and chips, Spicy Dragon burger, and pork belly schnitzels.

The season continues from the 12th of January in Seawinds Gardens at Arthurs Seat, with 15 films, including Mamma Mia, Wonder Woman, IT and Aladdin.

The cinema opens at 6pm, with films starting at 9pm. Tickets are $22 for adults, $15 for children, can be booked at Barefoot Cinema.

Moonlight Cinema - Royal Botanic Gardens - 1 December 2017 to 1 April 2018
On the Central Lawn, as the sun goes down (approx. 8.15pm), catch the biggest films of the 2017/18 summer season.

Tickets are $19 for adults, $16.50 concession and $15 for Cinebuzz members. The upgraded Gold Grass ticket for $35 includes your own bean bed as the hosts deliver your food and drink.

The food trucks have studied the menu from Happy Days, serving cheeseburger sliders, New Yorker chilli cheese dogs southern fried chicken, nachos and churros. The bar serves beer and wine, or you can BYO snacks and drinks.

The cinema is dog-friendly. When the program is released on 16 November, book tickets at Moonlight Cinema.

Gourmet Cinema - Caulfield Racecourse - 1 to 11 March 2018
After you've claimed the trifecta, spend your winnings on the stars of the silver screen, performing under the starry skies above Melbourne.

Partnering with Deliveroo, a new dining menu is chosen each evening to match cuisine with night's film. The program will be announced shortly, but it 2017, it focused on the feel-good classics, including Amélie, Lost in Translation, Eat Pray Love, and Finding Dory.

To view the program and book tickets, visit Gourmet Cinema.

Lido - Hawthorn - 11 January to 18 February 2018
At 675 Glenferrie Rd, in the historic Lido Cinema, 4K projectors and Dolby Atmos beam mainstream, cult and art house film onto a rooftop screen. There are morning, matinee and evening showings of new releases, including Loving Vincent and Home Again. Dress up for special events, including Robes and Russians for The Big Lebowski and garbage bags for Garden State.

The bar is stocked with refreshments - seasonal craft beers and boutique wines, vegan-friendly popcorn cooked in coconut oil with sea salt, dumplings, and nine flavours of gelato.

Book tickets, starting at $16 for adults with Lido membership, at Lido Cinema.

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Popcorn and cinema under the stars (by Rooftop Cinema)

Sunset Cinema - Albert Park - 18 January to 24 March 2018
In the Gasworks Arts Park on the corner of Graham and Pickles St, the odours from a former gas plant have been replaced with the fresh air of outdoor cinema. Relax after the chaos of Boxing Day sales with films for kids, couples and superheroes.

The program begins with Murder on the Orient Express, and continues with the summer's biggest blockbusters and premieres, including Justice League, Captain Underpants, Bad Moms 2, Thor: Ragnorak, Home Again, and Wonder.

Films start at 7pm each evening, costing $19 for adults and $12 for children. There are also beanbag and lounger upgrades. View the full program at Sunset Cinema.

Drive In - Coburg North - year-round
Outdoor cinema can be spoilt with rain or frosty weather, but on 155 Newlands Rd, Coburg North, you can control the climate while watching the latest films through your windshield.

When the weather is warm, pull up a reclining chair or lean back on the bonnet to watch films on a 33-metre-wide screen in the open air.

Tickets start at $10 per person, with free entry for children under 12. Book tickets at Village Cinemas.

Ride In Cinema - Coburg - Saturdays in February 2018
Ride your bike into the velodrome at 30 Charles St, Coburg North for a mix of new release and cult adventure and sci-fi films. The program, to be announced shortly, included Star Wars: Rogue One, E.T., Blade Runner and The Big Lebowski in 2017.

Food trucks and a cocktail and candy bar provide table service as you park your bicycle.

Book tickets at Ride In Cinema.

Have we missed your favourite outdoor film experience? Please let us know with a comment.
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Why? Enjoy the best outdoor cinema in Melbourne
When: As the sun sets
Where: Throughout Melbourne
Cost: Free, budget and luxury options
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