Your Melbourne guide to outdoor cinemas

From rooftops to gardens, a museum and the MCG, this summer there is an outdoor cinema to satisfy anyone’s taste.

Moonlight Cinema

BYO picnic rug or cushion to this ever-popular outdoor event in the Royal Botanic Gardens throughout summer and beyond. A limited number of Bean Beds (yep, beds) are also available at Moonlight Cinema, hired on a first-in-first-served basis. There’s a licensed bar and catering on-site too, and friendly four-legged guests are welcome, so every human and furry pal is happy.

Pack a picnic and settle in for Moonlight Cinema

Rooftop Cinema

One of Melbourne’s first sky-high movie venues, Rooftop Cinema recently had a makeover that pays homage to classic Art Deco drive-in design. Major improvements include a bigger bar, now backed by glass for even better city views, and retractable awnings. Warm blankets are available for hire for Melbourne’s occasionally not so balmy summer nights, and comfy deckchairs give the rooftop a unique feel. Pop in for a drink pre-screening or grab dinner at fellow Curtin House offerings Mesa Verde or Cookie.

South Wharf Pop-Up Cinema

There are more deckchairs for cinematic chilling at the Common Man riverside restaurant-bar. Running to the very last day of summer, South Wharf Pop-Up Cinema is a super-relaxed garden party on Astroturf. The program is big on laughs and music, with films such as Pretty Woman and The Lego Movie.

People sitting in bean bags and deckchairs watching a film outside with a river and the city skyline in the background

Settle into a deckchair on the astroturf at South Wharf Pop-Up Cinema

Cinema at the ‘G

Over two huge nights on 23 and 24 February, the iconic MCG will transform into the ultimate open-air cinema. This year’s movies on the giant scoreboard are heart-warming new release Wonder, and the sporting glory of Remember the Titans from 2000. All proceeds from Cinema at the ‘G will be donated to the Bank of Melbourne Neighbourhood Fund, which supports Victorian communities.

A crowd of people lying with their heads on inflatable pillows and watching a movie at an outdoor stadium

Cinema at the “G

Summer Cinema at Hellenic Museum

Another unexpected venue offering outdoor cinema pleasures is the Hellenic Museum. Summer Cinema 2018 presents classic subtitled Greek flicks and the English-language Trojan Women, alongside Greek treats from the wood fire and grill. Arrive early for the best seats, and settle into a Saturday sunset experience with a distinctly Mediterranean vibe.

Park Cinema at Docklands

Bring your screen-loving posse to Park Cinema at Buluk Park. Free Friday screenings include classics such as The Karate Kid and Strictly Ballroom. There’s an UberEats drop-off point at this family-friendly event, and Saluministi‘s Italian-inspired picnic nibbles are also nearby.

People watch family favourites at Buluk Park outdoor cinema

Watch family favourites for free at Park Cinema.

QV Outdoor Cinema

Visit one of Melbourne’s most affordable outdoor cinemas from Thursday to Sunday throughout February and March, when QV Square is transformed into a silent cinema replete with headphones and deckchairs. Pop down on 9 and 10 February with your four legged friend and enjoy a “doggie dress up night” including free pet photography – with all proceeds from the pooch-friendly nights going to the Lost Dogs Home – or spend an evening enjoying free drinks during their first week of screenings.

A small dog in a bowtie on the red carpet at QV Cinema

Fancy fur friends are welcome to QV Cinema’s dog-friendly nights

For one-off screenings and outdoor events year round, visit our Special Screenings list.