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13 Outdoor Cinemas in Melbourne You Need to Visit This Summer

There’s no better way to enjoy Melbourne’s balmy summer evenings than watching a favourite movie together with loved ones under the stars as dusk falls while relaxing on comfortable chairs or lounging on a picnic rug.

Here's a list of the best outdoor cinemas Melbourne has to offer, many of which offer family-friendly films.

Just keep in mind that your kids will need to be able to stay up late, as screenings only start when the sun goes down – which during the height of summer (December/January) can be as late as 9 pm.

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1. Sunset Cinema, Melbourne

When Sunset Cinema locations open for this summer, make sure you cool down from the summer heat in the nicest way possible with some ice-cold drinks, delicious food and sinfully sweet candy all while watching a movie.

Looking for something a bit more special to enjoy with your friends? Then check out their special VIP Ticket which will include your choice of a reclining chair or beanbag; seat within a premium seating area; and bottomless fresh popcorn!

Sunset Cinema The Briars, 450 Nepean Highway, Mount Martha

Sunset Cinema St Kilda Botanical Gardens, 11 Herbert St, St Kilda

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2. Cameo Cinema, Belgrave

Cameo Outdoor Cinema provides a bucolic movie-watching experience with deckchair seating on the cinema's rolling lawn, amidst the greenery of the Dandenong Ranges. This is one of the most unique ways to see an outdoor movie Melbourne wide.

Note that you will need to purchase any food and drink at the venue as no outside alcohol, food and snacks are permitted. Dogs are welcome to come….just be sure to clean up after them. 

Cameo Outdoor Cinema, 1628 Burwood Highway, Belgrave, +61 3 9754 7844

Cameo Cinemas

3. Classic Cinema, Elsternwick

Classic Cinemas holds the claim to fame as being the longest continuously operating cinema in Victoria. It boasts ten indoor screens as well as the Classic Rooftop. The stunning views all the way out to the bay make it one of the most gorgeous places to watch rooftop movies in Melbourne.

You’ll find comfortable director's chair seating on staggered levels once you get up to the rooftop to watch your film.

Classic Rooftop Cinema 9 Gordon Street, Elsternwick, +61 3 9524 7900

Classic Cinema Elsternwick

4. Dromana 3 Drive In, Mornington Peninsula

The Dromana Drive-in is an iconic part of the Mornington Peninsula and you can see the screens as you zoom down the freeway. It's been screening movies on its four screens since 1962 and it’s still going strong today!

Dromana Drive-in is perfect for a relaxing, low-key night out. Order some tasty food from the onsite restaurant called Shel's Diner (they'll even deliver it to your car) and enjoy watching your favourite classics or new releases with the fam!

Gates open approximately 30 minutes before the screening time and there are sometimes two screenings a night.

Dromana 3 Drive In, 133 Nepean Highway, Dromana, +61 3 5987 2492

Dromana Drive In

5. Lido Cinema, Hawthorn

At Lido Cinema's open air cinema Melbourne, you can watch blockbusters and arthouse classics with bird’s-eye views of Hawthorn's rooftops.

There's no need to BYO snacks: Lido Cinema's food and drink counter serves up great movie treats, from choc tops and vegan-friendly popcorn, edamame and craft beers. 

Know someone who loves going to and watching movies outdoors? Why not gift them a ​​unique movie experience with a Lido on the Roof gift pack, which includes two adult tickets and a $10 food and drink voucher! They also offer custom Lido on the Roof E-Gift Cards.

Check out Lido on the Roof's full program to see what's showing this year.

Lido Cinema, 675 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn, +61 3 8658 0000

lido cinemas

6. Lunar Drive In, Dandenong South

Don't miss out on one of Australia's largest drive-in cinemas! Lunar Drive In's large screen is just what you need for an unforgettable movie experience.

It is the oldest drive-in theatre still operating in Australia, yet offers state of the art picture and sound presentation on all four screens. 

The Lunar Drive-in cinema in Dandenong is not just a place to watch movies; it's also home to tasty classic Aussie burgers (don't miss the Lunar Burger with the Lot) and old-school hot jam doughnuts.

Films play every day except on Christmas Day which makes this an ideal outdoor cinema for any time of year!

Lunar Drive In, 115 South Gippsland Highway, Dandenong, +61 3 9706 9988

Lunar Drive In

7. Moonlight Cinema, South Yarra

There's nothing quite like watching a film under the stars in the evening cool of the Botanic Gardens with the original Moonlight Cinema Melbourne – our first outdoor cinema. 

You can BYO a grazing box or a picnic hamper or there's a bar for refreshments and a selection of food trucks.

All films start at sundown so make sure you get there early to nab a good spot on the lawn.

It's a great way to spend a summer evening in Melbourne!

Moonlight Cinema, Gate D Birdwood Avenue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne

Moonlight Cinema

8. Pentridge Open-Air Cinema, Coburg

Experience the best global releases and hand-picked retro films under the summer stars in a striking location!

The Palace Pop-Up Bar offers snacks and drinks from 7:30 pm when the gates open. You can BYO picnic boxes (and definitely bring a blanket when the temperature cools down), but you can’t BYO alcohol.

This year, Pentridge Open-Air Cinema will also be hosting exciting pre-screening events such as trivia games, costume competitions and live music during selected sessions!

Make sure you arrive early to claim a deck chair, stock up on your favourite beverages and settle in for a beautiful evening.

Pentridge Open-Air Cinema, 1 Champ St, Coburg

Pentridge Open Air

9. Sun Cinema – ‘The Shore Outdoor’, Williamstown

The summer offering from the Sun Cinema called The Shore Outdoor Cinema in Williamstown will be back for this summer. Dates are yet to be announced but stay tuned! Pack some blankets and head to the waterfront for a relaxing night of movie-watching at Shore Cinema, a pop-up cinema collaboration between the Sun Theatre and Seaworks.

It's especially nice that you can bring your own food or drink to enjoy during the movie and screenings start at twilight.

Seating options include Cape Cod Double (for two people), Bean Bag or Bring Your Own.

Note that the Sun Williamstown season is often short and tickets are popular. It's best to keep an eye out on social media to see when movies are screening so you don't miss out.

Sun Williamstown, Seaworks, 82 Nelson Place, Williamstown, +61 3 9362 0999 

Sun Williamstown

10. Melbourne Cable Park, Bangholme

Summer movies are back at Melbourne Cable Park, and they're bigger and better than ever before! Enjoy your favourite films, live music, and the company of your loved one all at this outdoor cinema.

The live music begins at 2 pm while the movies begin at 4 pm. Entry is $10 per person, but for families of four living in the same household, I suggest availing of the $30 family ticket instead. Check out the full movie schedule here.

Melbourne Cable Park, 5 Riverend Road, Bangholme, +61 3 8780 7777


11. Bourne Local Open-Air Cinema

Enjoy a summer night out at Bourne Open-Air Cinema where you can catch the newest blockbusters alongside cult favourites under the stars. On top of this, the outdoor cinema experience will also offer live entertainment, food trucks, and a bar to make the night even more special.

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12. Movies in the Square

Every Saturday, come on down to Fed Square to enjoy an amazing selection of films at their Outdoor Cinema! Whether you're looking for thrilling action or a movie night with your loved ones, there's sure to be something that everyone can enjoy.

This year's line-up features a host of Aussie classics, so don't forget to bring a blanket or your cozy chair to stay cozy and comfy while watching flicks on the big screen!

Check out the full movie schedule here.

Movies in the Square, Corner of Swanston and Flinders Streets Melbourne, +61 3 9655 1900, info@fedsquare.com

13. Movies by the Bay

Gather the family and enjoy a fun night filled with movies in the great outdoors at Hobsons Bay's Movies by the Bay. Enjoy the sunset while snacking on treats you've prepared from home or from one of the delicious local eateries.

The show starts at around 8:45 pm – 9 pm, but to get the best spot, be sure to get there early, and don't forget to bring your own picnic and chairs!

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Joyce Watts is a former intellectual property, IT and media lawyer turned serial entrepreneur.

As well as being the founder of TOT: HOT OR NOT she helps businesses with their SEO, email marketing & social media as BrightSmart.com.au; she owns an online bike store CycleStyle.com.au and develops and produces creative experiences for families via WheelieGoodFun.com. She used to publish another popular lifestyle and food blog called MEL: HOT OR NOT The decisive guide to Melbourne.

She lives in inner-city Melbourne with her husband, two children and seven bikes.

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