Milk Bar’s Guide to Fresh Air Films

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Say goodbye to rainy days and hello to balmy nights.  Melbourne’s outdoor entertainment calendar is swinging into full gear and this year is a feast of fresh air viewing for summertime cinephiles. Here are Milk Bar’s picks of Melbourne’s finest outdoor viewing destinations.

Rooftop Cinema, Curtin House, 252 Swanston St Melbourne
Located at Rooftop Bar on the top of Swanston Street’s Curtin House, Rooftop Cinema offers the best of arthouse, classic and recent release films coupled with spectacular city views.

The first part of their program is now on and runs until the end of January. The mix is eclectic, including Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet, Scorsese’s The Departed, Purple Rain, Stand By Me and recent festival hit We Need To Talk About Kevin. A second program will be announced soon.
Tickets are $20 for adults and $16 for concessions.


Openair Cinema, St. Kilda Sea Baths, 10 – 18 Jacka Blvd St. Kilda
If the beach is more your scene, St Kilda’s Openair Cinema has you covered. Located on the shore at the St. Kilda Sea Baths, Openair combines food, drinks and live music with great films for a memorable night at the beach.

The program runs from December 11 until February 9 and tends more towards mainstream contemporary cinema with a few left-field options thrown in for good measure. Highlights include Moneyball, Nicolas Winding Refn’s mesmerising Drive, Woody Allen’s light-hearted hit Midnight in Paris and cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show. For animal lovers, Aussie sleeper success Red Dog will also be screened as a special RSPCA fundraiser.
Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for children and concession.

Moonlight Cinema
A Melbourne mainstay, Moonlight Cinema is back for yet another season in the Royal Botanical Gardens.  Bring your own food and drink (alcohol is permitted), or sample some of the onsite cuisine as a compliment to cinematic night under the stars.

Running from December 15 until March 25, the first half of the program includes grown-up blockbuster fair like In Time, Contagion, and Mission: Impossible —Ghost Protocol as well as family-friendly flicks like The Smurfs, Puss In Boots, and a Grease sing-along.
Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for concessions and $14 for children.

The Shadow Electric, Abbotsford Convent
Kicking off in January, the independently run Shadow Electric is set in the stunning surrounds of the Abbotsford Convent. A bit more of a grown-up affair, the program has a definite indie/arthouse feel about it.

Highlights include Drive, Lolita, Submarine, and Attack The Block while all screenings kick off with a selection of locally produced shorts and music videos. There’s no BYO food or drinks at this one but the ever-changing array of treats, snacks and light meals (not to mention summer cocktails, wine, beer and cider) should keep everyone happy and hydrated.
Tickets or $19 for adults, $16 for concession and $14 for children and pensioners.

Gasworks Backyard Cinema, Gasworks Art Park, Albert Park
Gasworks Backyard Cinema has a small selection of films and big value for families, groups and cyclists.  Operating every Friday night from 13 January-17 February, Gasworks serves up largely family friendly fare including Tomorrow, When the War Began, Bridesmaids, and Red Dog.
Tickets are $18 for adults, $16 for concession and cyclists (helmets must be presented) and $15 per person for groups of 4 or more.  Dogs also welcome!

Special Mention: The Coburg Drive-In, 155 Newlands Rd, North Coburg
A bit of an overlooked gem, nothing quite delivers on summer nostalgia like going to the drive-in. Located in North Coburg, the drive-in experience has come a long way since you dangled a speaker off your car window. Broadcasting audio on FM and boasting text-able snacks (SMS your order and car number and someone brings it right to you), it’s time to rediscover a forgotten summer classic.

Whatever your tastes, Melbourne’s ever-expanding array of outdoor cinemas has something for everyone.  Veg out and get some air at the same time — pure summertime gold.

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