When we were younger our parents would give us $20 to cover an outing to the shopping centre with our friends. Back then $20 made you feel like a bit of a high roller, covering the movie ticket, a snack and maybe even a little trinket to take home. Times change. Now you pay almost half the production cost of the movie for a ticket these days – and if we’re talking about either of the Paranormal Activity movies that isn’t such a wild exaggeration. Seriously though, movie tickets have gone on a more than steep earning curve.
Time for a rethink. Going out to a film is also about the outing that comes with it. We could just download it at home or wait for the DVD, but watching a movie at the cinema is a social activity we like to share with friends, or a date. Fortunately, many establishments around Sydney have picked up on the fact that it’s the experience that counts. They want us to be less disgruntled about parting with our hard-earned money by enhancing that experience.
Perhaps inspired by the extremely popular Rooftop Cinema in Melbourne, many bars, pubs and even retail outlets around Sydney have added cinema to their services and things to do. If you want to watch a movie in an environment that is not overtly air-conditioned with a chorus of adolescents providing running commentary, check out this list of things to do in Sydney venues that give you more for your money.
This place nestled in the heart of Surry Hills calls itself a vintage store but they’re really just being modest – Dear Pluto often transforms into a gallery, speed dating venue, languages class room and cinema. This Monday, April 18, Dear Pluto will be screening Beetlejuice. Entry is only a gold coin donation AND there is free popcorn!
Greater Union Blacktown Drive-in:
This is Sydney’s last remaining drive-in cinema. If you were brought up in the glory days of the drive-in now’s your chance to get a little nostalgic. If your childhood was devoid of drive-in memories and you had to live them out vicariously through classic movies of the day such as Grease then the Blacktown Drive-in is the perfect way to experience the real thing. Here the more, the merrier as it’s $25 per car.
Cult Cinema at the Annandale Hotel:
Known for bringing us some of the best live music in Sydney, the Annandale Hotel also provides some on the best in cinema every Tuesday night, showing cult movies and films we are unlikely to find anywhere else. There is also the added bonus of a bar and superior pub-food. Entry is free with a suggested donation of $5
Art Gallery of NSW:
The Art Gallery of NSW often runs film screenings to coincide with their exhibitions. Until April 24 the gallery is screening films from their Photography & Place series. The repertoire includes shorts as well as features – “road movies, thrillers, poetic drama, gothic horror as well as some unique hybrids”. Regardless of genre they are all free! After the Photography & Place series, the gallery is launching the Archibald Prize Film Program from April 27 to June 26. The films included Psycho, Basquiat, and The Manchurian Candidate. The Art Gallery of NSW offers a wide array of things to do in Sydney.
Govinda’s Movie Room:
If you’re going on a date, Govinda’s is the only destination in town that guarantees you’ll be lying down next to your beau by the end of the night. This is due to the cosy seating arrangement in the movie room – rather than chairs, rows of futon-like cushions line the room. Aside from a cinema Govinda’s Movie Room also has a delicious vegetarian buffet restaurant run by the Hare Krishna. A dinner and movie deal is $29.80 or the movie on its own is $13.90.