Throw us Sydneysiders a bit of sunshine and we'll take just about any inside activity to the great outdoors. Open-air moviegoing, however, is a clear favourite, so you'll be chuffed to learn that the Sydney Hills Outdoor Cinema is returning for a third year.
Running for a month from January 12 to February 12 at the Castle Hill Showground, this al fresco event promises summertime cinema at its best. The 20-strong film program — which will show on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights — will cover both new releases and classics, across all kinds of genres. The season will kick off with the Michael Keaton-starring The Founder followed by a screening of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them the next night, and finish up with WWII film Allied, which stars Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard.
But, really, the big screen stuff is just a tiny part of what this pop-up event has in store. Most importantly, Bilpin Cider is on drinks duty, with their fully licensed Garden Bar set to serve an assortment of summer-inspired cocktails, local wine, French bubbly, and the label's own collection of ciders. Meanwhile, a pop-up by local Dural café Wolfe & Co. will be taking care of those movie snacks, stepping beyond your usual popcorn selection to offer the likes of prawn cocktail rolls and beef brisket burgers. There's even a range of cheese and antipasto boards, for anyone wanting to really ace that date night situation.
Crashmat beanbags will ensure total tush comfort, but if you really want to luxe up your cinema experience, why not try the four-person Koala Class viewing suite, complete with blankets and private butler service? Or you could get eight of your mates together, and shell out for a VIP bell tent — you'll get your own private viewing courtyard, a private butler, cover and all the creature comforts you need to spend a luxe evening under the stars.
The Sydney Hills Outdoor Cinema will run from January 12-February 12, at the Castle Hill Showground. Gates will open at 6pm each night, for eats and drinks before the film kicks off at 8pm.