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Review Highlights
amazing experience

A Sydney festival must do must see...... Not to be missed. It will be your best night out in... read more

Reviewed March 3, 2019
Annette P
,
Sydney, Australia
A definite highlight of our first trip to Sydney

Touted as the world's most beautiful open air cinema, I certainly can't argue with that... read more

Reviewed February 27, 2019
TiminDelaware
,
Newark, Delaware
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Reviewed February 12, 2019 via mobile

We’ve been to the outdoor cinema a few times and it has a very different to the Moonlight Cinema in Centennial Park. There are pros and cons to each.

For getting there, you can train it to circular quay and walk around through the gardens. This is problematic when you leave at the end as the gardens will be closed. We tend to park at the Domain car park. It’s still quite a hike to get to and from the venue but is a much cheaper option than parking on the road leading down to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair.

Doors open at around 6.15 pm - sometimes earlier. It depends how fussy you are about seating for the bar etc as to how early you queue. If you queue at 5pm you should get a very good choice but if you leave it til 6pm there will still be reasonable options, unless it’s a very popular film. It’s best to assign one person to choose the cinema seats and another to save seats in the bar/eating area. You’ll be given large tags with adhesive to write your name on and stick to your seat while you are in the queue so once you’ve made the selection you can leave the seats until it’s time for the movie.

The important items to take are, water, sunscreen, a hat, mosquito repellent and some kind of padding for the chairs.

There is water in jugs at the bar but you can only use small plastic cups for it so it’s preferable to take your own. The bar and eating areas are very exposed and the few shaded areas are at a premium and snapped up quickly. Although there are umbrellas, if it’s at all windy they are not put up. Therefore, a hat is pretty important as the sun is relentless! The cinema seats seem relatively comfortable at first but by the end of the movie, especially if it’s a bad one, your bum dies a slow and painful death and it takes a while to get any feeling back. So a thin cushion is a must!

The food is reasonable - not amazing and it’s good to order early before the queues build up. You can find a menu online and, I think, order online too. The wine is a bit pricy but not ridiculously so.

The experience is lovely, overall. You have a fantastic view and a spectacular backdrop to whatever film you’re seeing. It’s a great thing to do at least once, while making the most of Sydney during the summer!

Date of experience: February 2019
1  Thank Penny-W1103
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 11, 2019

We were given Tickets for Christmas. We had the most beautiful night, the weather was perfect ! We got there early 6.15 to reserve our seats and were told to sit on the right side of the screen so that we had lovely views to the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Food was expensive Burger & Fries for $23 The pasta dish was dry and definitely not worth the money. The seating was uncomfortable for a 2 hour movie, so make sure you don't sit there beforehand. The walk back to get a train was a long hike as you cannot walk through the Botanical Gardens when the show is finished. But apart from all that it is an experience to see an Open Air Cinema

Date of experience: February 2019
Thank 204nancyf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2019 via mobile

my wife and I attended the moonlight cinema on Saturday night the movie was a French movie and it was absolutely terrible.... dull lifeless and slow. ..whoever determined the program for this year especially for the flagship Saturday night offerings needs to find another job...they cannot rely on the stunning backdrop to save the day by serving up second rate movies... is not acceptable it wasn't even half full....hopefully they have learnt their lesson for 2019 and we look forward to bettermovies next year especially on the Saturday nights.

Date of experience: February 2019
Thank Hunters121010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 7, 2019

Expect queues to this event unless you buy a premium package, like we did.

The Lounge by Aria serves up brilliant food, just the right size. We did feel a little rushed on the evening as the waiter kept hurrying us along, although we had plenty of time between finishing our meals and the start of the movie. I cannot describe the other food options around - there is the Deck as well as a pub-style venue.

Seating for the movie is on uncomfortable seats, regrettably (even with premium packages). Starts out looking and feeling comfortable but by the end of the movie, they are uncomfortable. And being out in the open, it can be unpleasant during a heatwave (we had one) or if it is pouring with rain (lucky we did not have that!).

A roving drinks vendor would be useful - especially when it is hot. Unless you bring your own water, don't expect to get any while the movie is playing.

And the crowds getting out of Mrs Macquarie's Chair at the end of the evening is terrible. Keep hold of small children and agree a meeting point with adults - it is easy to get separated.

BUT WHAT A VIEW! The Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge off to the right of screen, the CBD off to the left of the screen. They make an amazing backdrop to the movie and is an enjoyable (even romantic, if the occasion permits) way of watching a movie.

Date of experience: February 2019
1  Thank emxkay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2019 via mobile

One of the best things about being in Sydney during January is the outdoor cinemas. We try to go each year to see a movie at the St George Cinema. However the movies do sell out quickly. It is always a special night and even better if you get great weather. Mind you I have watched a couple of films in the rain over the years and it’s still fine. The main improvement over past couple of years has been the service for food and drinks. Aria now do the food and there are no queues. The service is quick and efficient & the food is delicious. We always get a park out the front but we make sure we arrive before 6pm. All the staff are friendly and helpful and I do love the Lindt ball on arrival. We saw The First Man and it was kind of cool to see the real moon in the background as we watched the movie about Neil Armstrong. The weather was perfect. We enjoyed the delicious food on offer and a couple of wines at the picnic benches provided. Of all the outdoor cinemas in Sydney this is the most glamorous! Watching a movie here and seeing the big screen come up with the harbour bridge and opera house in the background at sunset reminds you what a great city Sydney is.

Date of experience: February 2019
Thank 15kimg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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