#50 – Go to an outdoor movie

by Elizabeth on February 15, 2008 · 5 comments

in 101 in 1001, Cool stuff, Life, Melbourne, TV/Movies

Part of my 101 Things in 1001 Days challenge.

Last night I treated Tim to a movie at The Rooftop Cinema for Valentines Day. I managed to keep the whole thing a secret right up until we got to the door, which made it extra fun!

The cinema is on the roof of a 6-storey building, and the view was awesome. It was just high enough to make the passing trams look little, but small enough to give us a great view into surrounding skyscrapers. It was the perfect perspective for two people still getting to know their city.

One leg of the L-shaped venue was a small but well-stocked bar (shown in the photo immediately above), and when we arrived it was full of people having their post-work drinks. Many had sprawled into the cinema area around the corner to take advantage of the sunshine and synthetic grass, and there was awesome chilled-out music playing the whole time.

At around 8pm staff herded people away from the screen so that they could begin setting up deck chairs, and by 8:30pm anyone who hadn’t bought a ticket for the movie was sent back to the bar.

We managed to grab terrific seats, and when we sat down we saw that a menu had been clipped to the chair in front of us! The text read:

Howdy. Left your credit card with the bar? If not, go hand it over so you can run a tab during the film and simply text us the seat number, your surname, colour of your card and what you want. And then we bring it to you.

PS: If it’s a crying moment of the film, we might wait until that scene is over and we’ve wiped our eyes.

The menu contained a great selection of drinks, and four food options from the award-winning restaurant/bar Cookie downstairs. Tim had chicken yakitori skewers, and I tried the tofu burger (as part of my new resolve to “try new things”). The price was very reasonable ($8.50 each), and they warmed us up.

The movie began a little after 9pm. We saw Raising Victor Vargas, a movie that I knew absolutely nothing about but seemed to rate really well on Rotten Tomatoes. We both really enjoyed it, and I think I like it even better today than I did last night. It got some horrible reviews on imdb, but whatever. Worth seeing.

Overall, I had a great time and thoroughly recommend this place. Be warned, the cinema only operates from late November until the end of March each year – so check it out soon if you can!

Location: Level 6, 252 Swanston St
Tickets: $18 + BF

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

lilalia February 15, 2008 at 5:54 pm

What a wonderful idea and you managed to make me want to fly all the way over to give it a try. There is something magical about open air cinema, and this on the rooftop version sound especially fun. My husband, who was born and raised in southern Italy, tell of the town’s outdoor cinema projecting films on the wall of the building across from their apartment. They would all go up on the roof of the building, with a picnic, and watch the townsfolk as well as the movie, for free.


Mary Kate February 15, 2008 at 11:40 pm

What a really cool idea! And I fullheartedly agree with Lilalia. Do you think the rooftop theatre would be willing to cut some sort of deal with an international airline?

It makes you wonder why certain ideas like this haven’t caught on in other parts of the world. Granted, as I look out my window, we’re under a frost bite warning, with two inches of ice, under two inches of snow… but we do get SOME warm months out of the year. Something seasonal would do quite well here I would think.

Thanks for the photos. As always, a lovely way to have my morning coffee. Jetting off halfway around the world to see what you’re up to. *Grins*



gullybogan February 17, 2008 at 5:01 pm

I heard that they set up rooftop venues like this so that ppl can both drink and smoke and watch a movie and smoke. You know, as a response to the ban on smoking in pubs and stuff.

Was there much smoking?

I remember the olden days when you would be sitting in a cinema watching a movie and there would be three or four little trails of blue smoke rising into the air, lit up by the projector beam.

Imagine that happening now.


Elizabeth February 18, 2008 at 10:20 am

gullybogan: There was plenty of smoking, which sort of surprised me. On their website they say that if you’re caught smoking on the synthetic grass they’ll “gun you down”, but I even saw people putting out their cigarettes on it.

The smoking didn’t bother me though, thanks to the breeze. Had it been an enclosed room my asthma would have gone nuts.

I don’t know if people were smoking during the movie though – the seats were probably too close together for that.


Lady Banana February 25, 2008 at 9:22 pm

That looks like a fantastic evening – Britain’s weather is a bit too unreliable to have anything like that..


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