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Movies under the stars in Melbourne

Moonlight Cinema, Melbourne
Moonlight Cinema, Melbourne.

Supplied: Visit Victoria

Summer in Melbourne is the perfect time to pack a picnic and head outdoors to take in Melbourne’s glorious scenery and watch the stars of the silver screen under the night sky.

Victoria is showcasing a fantastic selection of new and old outdoor cinema experiences this summer.

Notable newcomers include:

The Backlot Rooftop Drive-in

From its elevated site in Melbourne’s Docklands, The Backlot Rooftop Drive-in accommodates 65 vehicles and screens films against a 360-degree view of Melbourne’s dazzling city lights. On offer are first-release films, encompassing all genres, via staggered evening sessions across two giant, state-of-the-art raised screens. For those without a car, there is an intimate ‘blue-deck’ seating area. From December 26.

90 Waterfront Way, Docklands.


Shimmerlands is a new two-month long outdoor festival that is held at Melbourne University’s Parkville campus. The campus is divided into four main entertainment areas: The Cinema, The Pavilion, Live Music and The Food Quarter.

Grattan Street, Parkville.

Barkly Square Open Air Cinema

Nestled in Barkly Square’s quaint laneway precinct, this open air cinema offers a diverse mix of arthouse, modern and family-friendly films.  Film-goers are kitted out with state-of-the-art headphones and watch movies on a five-metre-wide screen. Tickets are just $10, with all proceeds going towards VicDeaf, the Victorian Deaf Society.

90-106 Sydney Road, Brunswick.

Barefoot Cinema

This summer Mornington Peninsula serves up a brand new outdoor cinema experience. Located within Point Nepean National Park in Portsea, Barefoot Cinema takes advantage of a natural amphitheatre that looks out across Port Phillip Bay and along the breathtakingly beautiful Portsea cliffs.

Point Nepean National Park, Point Nepean Road, Portsea.

As well as the new screens on the block, some of the city’s classic outdoor cinemas are again offering up some of the best in cinematic fare:

Cameo Outdoor Cinema

With the beautiful backdrop of the Dandenong Ranges, Cameo Outdoor Cinema is screening new release films and hosting events  like Bring Your Pet nights at which animal escapades will be shown on-screen. Although it has run for more than 10 years, Cameo Outdoor Cinema remains one of Melbourne’s best-kept secrets. Cinema-goers are welcome to bring their own picnic or enjoy some of the gourmet delights available on site.

1628 Burwood Highway, Belgrave.

Coburg Drive-in

The gates opened at Coburg Drive-in in 1965, but today, the venue screens a variety of blockbuster movies projected onto the 33 metre wide screens. There is a retro diner onsite, but the drive-in also regularly hosts food truck festivals.

155 Newlands Road, Coburg.

Dromana Drive-in

Reminiscent of a 1960s classic drive-in, Dromana Drive-in is the perfect place to take in a film and enjoy some nostalgia while you’re at it. The original 1961 screen is the oldest remaining screen in Victoria, and is still in use to this day. It also features Shel’s Diner, which is inspired by Mel’s Diner in California’s Universal Studios.

113 Nepean Highway, Dromana.

Lunar Drive-in

Dandenong’s Lunar Drive-in opened on May 4, 1956 with a single wooden screen and spaces for 650 cars. Today, it is the largest drive-in cinema in Australia, with four screens that show all the latest blockbusters. Also on site is the Lunar Cafe, which offers classic Aussie cuisine.

115 Sth Gippsland Highway,Dandenong.

Moonlight Cinema

Perched upon a hill in the middle of the Royal Botanic Gardens with the city skyline casting a dramatic backdrop, Moonlight Cinema offers a quintessential open air cinema experience. Food trucks are on standby for those in need of sustenance and beanbags are available to hire. Alternatively, film goers can bring their own picnic and pillows, or opt to pay a bit extra for the comfort of ‘Gold Grass’. Gates open at 7pm and films start at sundown.

Central Lawn, Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne.

Rooftop Cinema

One of Melbourne’s favourite rooftop bars transforms into a seventh storey open air cinema during summer with films screening at around 9.30pm. Rooftop Bar is open daily from midday and is licensed until 1am, so movie-goers can enjoy a drink before the screening and stay a little longer after the credits roll. Mesa Verde, just one floor down on Level 6 of Curtin House, serves Mexican-inspired meals in saloon-inspired surrounds.

Rooftop, Curtin House, 252 Swanston Street, Melbourne.

QV Outdoor Cinema

QV Square again plays host to an outdoor cinema, with a program of classic films, family friendly screenings – and even a selection of pet-friendly screenings, with special films to match. It also features live entertainment, free cocktails, special food, red carpets, instafamous dogs, charity screenings, a mini film festival and more. 30 November, 2017 – 26 February, 2017.

Corner Swanston and Lonsdale Streets, Melbourne.

This material was produced by the Victorian Government.