Best Outdoor Cinemas and Theatre Pop-ups in Melbourne For Kids

  • Kids
    All Ages

A fun Melbourne tradition from the middle of Spring and definitely during summer are the outdoor cinemas that pop up all over the city to take advantage of the fantastic weather.

We've rounded up some great spots to take the kids to see a movie in the great outdoors - some provide seating (the beanbags are fun!) and some allow you to bring your own picnic stuff for a great night out. 

American Express Openair Cinemas

One of the first ones to pop up for the season (Yarra Park in early October and St Kilda in November) this cinema makes for a kid and dog friendly evening out.

Dine on freshly-cooked cuisine while the adults can enjoy a drink from the fully-stocked bar and lie under the stars with your loved ones to watch a movie.

Are you an American Express Card Member? You'll get the VIP experience by purchasing a ticket to the American Express Lounge, complete with premium seating, unlimited popcorn and a beverage of choice. American Express Card Members also save 15% on selected tickets, are granted access to the American Express Garden and recieve complimentary blanket hire. Cha-ching! 

What you need to know

Location: St Kilda and Yarra Park

Ticket prices: Tickets start at $14 | Kids under 4 free

Session Times: Tuesday to Sunday, gates open at 6pm, films start around 8pm. 

For more info and for tickets: head to the website.


Barefoot Cinema

The screen will definitely vie for your attention at the spectacular Seawinds Garden at Arthurs Seat, set among majestic pine trees and beautiful gardens righ tin the middle of Mornington Peninsula wine region. 

Hang out prior in the pre-movie area (with beer and wines for the grownups), grab your treats from the Barefoot Candy Bar, or select some hot food options from Martha's Table food truck.

There is no special seating arrangements at either Seawinds Garden or Rippon Lea Estate, and there is plenty of room for everyone, so take your own beanbag, picnic rug, blow up chair, sleeping bag, low back chair or whatever grabs your fancy. 

What you need to know

Location: Seawinds Gardens Arthur's Seat, Rippon Lea Estate Elsternwick

Ticket prices: Summer 2019 details to come

Session Times: Check the website.

For more info and for tickets: head to the website.


Barkly Square Open Air Cinema

The popular Barkly Square Open Air Cinema is back in December and January, with an eclectic mix of family-friendly, arthouse and modern favourites. All proceeds with be donated to a different local charity each week, so round up the family and head down! It's one of the cheapest options, if you're on a budget post-Christmas.

What you need to know

Location: Barkly Square Shopping Centre, McDougall St Brunswick 

Ticket prices: $11.50, with all proceeds going to charity

Session Times: Every Saturday night in December and January, 2019/20 details TBC

For more info and for tickets: head to the website.

Coburg Drive-In

For a night of good old fashioned movie fun, bring your family or a carload of friends to the Village Drive-In, where they screen a variety of blockbusters projected onto the huge 33 metre wide screens, and sound is picked up through your car's FM stereo broadcast.

You can grab a bite to eat in the retro style diner or you can order from your car via via the Coburg Drive In app (available through the app store) to have snacks delivered straight to you. From popcorn to burgers and fries, there's sure to be a treat to complement your night out.

This is a great option for families as everyone can chill out in their own area, and kids under 12 are free. 

What you need to know

Location: Newlands Drive, Coburg North

Ticket prices: Child/concession/student: $7.50 | Adult: $10 | Carload (5 people maximum): $25 | children under 12 are admitted free. Cheap tickets are on Monday nights.

Session Times: You can find session days and times here.

For more info and for tickets: head to the website.


Moonlight Cinema, Royal Botanic Gardens

Image Credit: Moonlight Cinemas


Head out for a perfect night under the stars at the Melbourne location for the Australia-wide Moonlight Cinema. The summer season runs until April 1, showing advance screenings, new releases and cult films. Don't forget your blankets and pillows!

What you need to know

Location: Central Lawn at Royal Botanic Gardens

Ticket prices: Program and tickets TBC soon. 

Session Times: You can find session days and times here.

For more info and for tickets: head to the website.

Park Cinema, Docklands

Image Credit: Victoria Harbour Facebook

Bigger and better than in previous years, the summer 2019 season runs Friday nights until March. 

Pack a rug and some snacks, or leave the work to whichever eatery you like, with the site featuring a designated UberEats drop-off point. The event is alcohol-free, but if you're keen for a pre-movie tipple, stop in at Collins Street's Bar Nacional on the way to the park. Just note that there is no reserved seating, so make sure you're on time to score a prime spot on the lawn — gates open at 7pm, with the screening kicking off around 8.30pm as the sun goes down.

What you need to know

Location: Buluk Park 894-910 Collins Street, Docklands

Ticket prices: FREE

Session Times: TBC soon.

South Wharf Pop-Up Cinema at Common Man

Enjoy your movie riverside on Common Man’s bright green Astroturf, featuring deck chairs, drinks, and a lolly bar packed with everyone's favourites.

For the adults, the Heineken 3 Pop-Up Bar & Pimms Garden will also be in operation, offering Heineken 3, Pimm’s cocktails & jug specials to film-goers. A range of Movie deal packages will be available including Pimms Jugs, bubbles & dips.

What you need to know

Location: The Common Man, South Wharf

Ticket prices: TBC

Session Times: TBC

For more info and for tickets: head to the website.


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