outdoor cinema


Finding the best view in Sydney

Published January 14th, 2016

An early evening stroll through the Royal Botanic Gardens lead me to one of my favourite Sydney experiences. The OpenAir Cinema was on my list of things to do but I hadn't put effort into mapping directions to the venue or pre-ordering tickets.

I resigned myself to the fact that I'd never get to it, and the cinema left my mind — until I found myself walking along the fragrant path to Mrs Macquarie's Chair. I had been travelling solo for two weeks at this point and was in the mood for something familiar.

I was with my mother the last time I visited Sydney, and I vividly remember sitting on a sandstone bench named for the wife of one of the city's earliest governors. It was said that Lady Macquarie sat on the rocks looking for ships as they entered the harbour. One can't blame her for spending so much time watching the sea, as the view is pretty spectacular.

I continued on the path to Mrs Macquarie's Chair and suddenly came upon a crowd walking toward the entrance of the OpenAir Cinema. Before I knew it, one hand was holding a ticket for Red Dog and the other was holding a phone up to my ear to cancel dinner reservations. I felt pretty lucky — seats often sell out before the show date, but a few tickets are released at the door before each screening.

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I was pleasantly surprised by the food offerings. Quite the opposite from normal theatre fare: handmade pizzas, Japanese curry udon noodles, homemade ice-cream sandwiches from local favourite Pat & Stick's (the peppermint choc chip is incredible), coffee from Latteria Cafe. Prices made me wince (the wagyu burgers were going for $A20), but I suppose in addition to good quality food you are also paying for the views. The whole thing was very civilised.

Show time @stgeorgeopenair. 2000 people in the house for #carolthemovie Book now at Ticketmaster.com.au A photo posted by St George OpenAir Cinema (@stgeorgeopenair) on

Once the sun began to set, the crowd settled into stadium-style seating. Although harmless, the garden's resident fruit bats made their presence known throughout the movie by occasionally flying in front of the screen or letting out a shrill squeal. Here's a tip — avoid sitting in the back seats under the trees or you'll inadvertently set yourself up as a target for bat droppings.

I didn't make it to Mrs Macquarie's Chair but I found something I liked even better. With the sun gone, the huge movie screen glowed against the dark sky.

And the Opera House and Harbour Bridge illuminated the city behind it — a magical image and a perfect summer night in Sydney.

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Author: Berit Baugher

This article originally appeared on Fathom.

This article was written by Berit Baugher from Fathom and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


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