Top 5 Alternative Cinemas


by Lauren Piggott

Source: Daniel Boud

Source: Daniel Boud

For all you film buffs and regular moviegoers that are bored of your local cinema, Sydney has an array of interesting theatres that offer more than just your standard bucket of popcorn and a film. The following cinemas offer a whole new cinematic experience to give you a date night with a difference, offering both new blockbusters and old classics to keep everyone happy. From heritage listed buildings to unique drinking and dining experiences, these boutique and alternative cinemas have transformed movie watching into a fun and interactive night out.

Golden Age Cinema & Bar

Source: Style Creeper
Source: Style Creeper
Source: Golden Age Cinema & Bar
Source: Golden Age Cinema & Bar
Source: Golden Age Cinema & Bar
Source: Golden Age Cinema & Bar

Take a trip to the Golden Age Cinema & Bar and you’ll be treated to a modern cinema experience in an old fashioned setting. This 75-year-old art deco building has been lovingly restored and still pays homage to its original purpose. While the upper floors were used as offices for Paramount Pictures, the basement was used for previewing movies to cinema owners. The same room is used today as a 60-seat cinema where you can watch new releases, old classics and cult films.

The cinema hosts exciting special events like musical sing-a-longs and themed events such as the Rocky Horror Picture Show night, where ticket holders are given a party pack and instructions on how to get involved on the night. The cinema also takes cheap Tuesdays to the next level with their Golden Age prices, where you can watch classics such as The Godfather or The NeverEnding Story, and the admission price will be however much it cost the year the film was released. On Tuesdays the Nighthawk Diner also serves up themed burgers that match the film you’re watching.

This reinvented cinema has a bar that you can visit even if you’re not seeing a film. But the novelty of taking a cocktail into the cinema is a bit of a perk you won’t find at a lot of cinemas, particularly when you have cocktails like the Maple Pecan Old Fashioned, the Charlotte’s Web or the Buttered Popcorn flip. If you’d prefer real popcorn, the cinema has sweet and savoury inventive flavours including parmesan, chilli and cinnamon donut.

Where: 80 Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills
When: Tuesday – Saturday 5pm – late | Sunday 2.30pm – late
Contact: Official Website | 9211 1556
Cost: Adults: $20 | Concession: $15

 

Skyline Drive-In

Source: Event Cinemas
Source: Event Cinemas
Source: Event Cinemas
Source: Event Cinemas
Source: Skyline Drive-In
Source: Skyline Drive-In

Though outdoor cinemas are typically seasonal pop-ups that come around only in summer, Skyline Drive-In is the one outdoor cinema open all year round. Sydney’s only drive-in cinema brings a bit of retro fun back to watching movies, allowing you to see a movie snuggled up in the back seat of your car with pillows, blankets and even pyjamas. Owned by Event Cinemas, Skyline is known for playing the latest and greatest new releases on one of their two big screens, providing a sound system than can be played via your car’s FM radio. At skyline you also get two movies for the price of one, with back-to-back movies played one after the other.

If you’re brave enough to leave your car in your pyjamas, you will find a 1950s inspired retro diner where you can order classic American diner staples including burgers, hot dogs and shakes. The ‘Happy Days’ styled interior is complete with old school advertisements covering the walls, neon signs and even the staff are dressed in old-fashioned diner outfits of candy red and white striped dresses and shirts. Enjoy a tasty chilli dog in one of the old-era booths, in your car or on a warmer night, under the stars in the ‘Grass Class’ deck chairs.

Where: Cricketers Arms Road, Blacktown
When: Monday – Sunday 5.30pm – late
Contact: Official Website | 9622 4170
Cost: $10 per person | $20 per person for Double Feature

 

Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace

Source: Hayden Orpheum
Source: Groupon
Source: Groupon
Source: Cinema Treasures
Source: Cinema Treasures
Source: Sydney Morning Herald

The Hayden Orpheum continues to have the same title as it did when it first opened in 1935, as the grandest movie theatre in the suburbs. Though the picture palace did become run down and turned into a shopping arcade in the years that followed, in 1987 it was restored to its original glory. The art deco features from the previous era were recreated so audiences today could admire the great attention to detail in every room, from statues to domed ceilings and everything you would expect in a grand theatre setting.

Today the theatre has six cinema rooms, state-of-the-art sound and lighting facilities and features that will take you back to another era including the Wurlitzer Pipe Organ, used previously to accompany silent films. The Hayden Orpheum is for true lovers of film and theatre, as you won’t find the standard mainstream new releases here. The cinema is dedicated to playing arthouse and foreign films, with the occasional special previews and art exhibitions showed on screen. Once a month the Hayden Orpheum also hosts a special interactive experience for the cult film The Room, a romantic drama known for being one of the worst movies ever made that audiences consider it a comedy.

The Hayden Orpheum is open 7 days a week and is rarely without a special event. Every Wednesday you can get a movie, lunch and coffee for only $13, or any night of the week take advantage of the champagne movie ticket special. Enjoy a drink at the magnificent Piano Bar and find out why this stunning theatre won Winner of Best Urban Cinema Australia 2014.

Where: 380 Military Road, Cremorne
When: Monday – Sunday 9am – 9pm
Contact: Official Website | 9908 4344
Cost: Adults: $20 | Concession: $16.50

 

Govinda’s

Source: Daniel Boud
Source: Your Restaurants
Source: Govindas
Source: Your Restaurants
Source: Groupon
Source: Govindas

Govinda’s restaurant and movie room have been an institution in Darlinghurst for over 25 years. For the best dinner and movie deal in town, Govinda’s provides great value for those looking for food and a flick. You can enjoy dinner before or after a movie, with endless choices offered from the vegetarian buffet. Serving mostly Indian dishes like the dahl soup, vegetable curry, cauliflower pakoras and poppadums, you can also find touches of other cuisines in dishes like the baked penne pasta, lentil pie or potato au gratin. Indulge your sweet tooth with cheesecake, chocolate mousse or apple crumble, and you are always welcome to revisit the buffet and refill your plate at any time of the night.

The Movie Room offers the ultimate experience of comfort, with specially designed floor cushioning, beanbags, couches and pillows. You’re invited to kick off your shoes and laze back and enjoy the new releases and typically arthouse selection of films on offer. During the week there are three movies per night to choose from and on weekends there are additional afternoon screenings. Although the boutique cinema seats up to 120 people, each session fills up fast so be sure to book a seat in advance. The deluxe and cosy seating makes Govinda’s the ideal spot for a date night or just a fun and alternative cinema experience with friends.

Where: 112 Darlinghurst Road, Darlinghurst
When: Wednesday – Sunday 6pm – 10pm
Contact: Official Website | 9380 5155
Cost: Movie Only: $15.50 (Adult) $12.90 (Concession) | Dinner & Movie: $29.80

 

Ritz Cinema

Source: AirBNB
Source: Ritz Cinema
Source: Ritz Cinema
Source: Tim Bo
Source: Ritz Cinema
Source: Ritz Cinema

Built in 1937 and still family owned to this day, The Ritz is a heritage-listed icon of the Eastern Suburbs. Alongside the Hayden Orpheum and the Golden Age Cinemas, it is one of the only art deco cinemas remaining in Sydney. The Ritz welcomes everyone to the charming nostalgic cinema, with a mixture of new release films with independent and the latest arthouse movies on show. With five additional theatres added to the building in the past 20 years, this multiplex cinema has been known to host an array of special events for the Australian Film Festival, alongside fun one-off evenings like the Clueless onesie night. On the first Wednesday of every month they host a Movie Trivia Night for all the film buffs who want to show off their knowledge and win some prizes.

Alongside the traditional candy bar that sells classic cinema treats like popcorn and choc tops, you will find the Ritz Bar that offers a selection of cocktails, wine, beer and cider. The venue is fully licensed to take drinks into the cinema, but you don’t have to be watching a movie to visit this glamorous bar and enjoy a drink on the beautiful outdoor balcony.  Still boasting some of the cheapest movie tickets in Sydney, you can enjoy a movie in a beautiful unique building for $15 any day of the week or for only $9 on Super Tuesdays.

Where: 45 St Pauls Street, Randwick
When: Monday – Sunday 9am – 9pm
Contact: Official Website | 8324 2500
Cost: Adult: $15 | Concession: $13 | Super Tuesday: $9

 

 

If you enjoyed Top 5 Alternative Cinemas, check out our other Top 5′s:

top-5-thrift-shops-promo_panels_t5_640x100top-5-indian-restaurants-sydney-promo_panels_t5_640x100top-5-gyros-sydney-promo_panels_t5_640x100top-5-fried-chicken-sydney-promo_panels_t5_640x100

 

Xplore Sydney Copyright 2015

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Randwick

Having already opened its doors in Mosman, the Four Frogs Creperie has expanded its horizons to provide authentic French...Read More