The Best Open-Air Cinemas in Melbourne

Photo of Monique La Terra
11 January 2017

Despite Melbourne’s temperamental climate, locals will make any excuse to stay outside, which is why combining one of our favourite pastimes with the great outdoors has become so popular. Throughout the summer, open-air cinemas spring up all over Melbourne. Here are our top open-air cinemas.

Moonlight Cinema

Cinema, Movie Theater
Map View
Bordered by lush greenery and offering advanced screenings, Moonlight Cinema has become a Melbourne favourite. Located on the central lawn at the Royal Botanic Gardens, you can watch Hollywood’s biggest stars while laying underneath a grand canopy. Bring a picnic blanket or hire a bean bag and feast on burgers, fries, nachos, popcorn, Nutella donuts, and more. There’s even a selection of alcoholic beverages. Those looking for an extra special experience can purchase gold grass tickets, or for a ladies’ night, try the glam grass package.

Shadow Electric

Building, Cinema, Movie Theater
Map View
Visit Australia.  Scenics and views of Australia.  Melbourne’s  the Abbotsford Convent – with its 11 historic buildings and gardens.
Abbotsford Convent is an arts centre spread over 6.5 hectares (16 acres) | © Blackfox Images / Alamy Stock Photo
With ping-pong tables and live music, Shadow Electric provides a unique take on traditional movie theatres. Located at the Abbotsford Convent, you’ll find plenty of seating, a rotating menu, and, as it is an over 18 cinema, you can relax without hearing any children screaming.


Cinema, Movie Theater
Map View
Lido Cinemas, Hawthorn
Lido Cinemas, Hawthorn | © Flickr
Conveniently located on Glenferrie Road, Lido Rooftop Cinema gives you a choice of deckchairs or beanbags and allows you to enjoy both new releases and classics in comfort. There’s room for up to 93 people and the vegan popcorn never runs out. Choose between 9pm and the occasional midnight screening, and on Tuesdays, tickets are discounted.

Rooftop Cinema

Cinema, Movie Theater
Map View
Year round, Rooftop Bar is exactly that — a bar, but when the mercury rises, so does the big screen. From December through April, movie buffs can watch new releases and cult classics from the comfort of a deck chair while surrounded by Melbourne’s sparkling city skyline. Make your way upstairs, visit the box office on the left, enjoy a cocktail and a gourmet ice-cream from the pink freezer or a snack from The Burger Shack, and prepare for an unforgettable cinema experience. Tickets and weather updates are available from their website, and blankets can be rented if it gets chilly.


Surrounded by the Dandenong Ranges, Cameo’s setting is a one-of-a-kind and uniquely Australian experience. Nowhere else in the world can you watch the latest films in the company of scurrying possums! Sit on the sloping hill, enjoy the frozen yogurt, and pick up a pair of personal headphones so you won’t miss a second of the action onscreen.

1628 Burwood Hwy, Belgrave VIC +61 03 9754 7844


Courtesy of Cameo