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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

The Full 2020–21 Summer Program for Sydney's Westpac Openair Cinema Is Here

It'll kick off in mid-December with a jam-packed lineup of new, recent and classic flicks — all under the stars at Mrs Macquaries Point.
By Sarah Ward
November 30, 2020
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The Full 2020–21 Summer Program for Sydney's Westpac Openair Cinema Is Here

It'll kick off in mid-December with a jam-packed lineup of new, recent and classic flicks — all under the stars at Mrs Macquaries Point.
By Sarah Ward
November 30, 2020
  shares

First, the great news: in a year that has seen many events have had to cancel or postpone their plans — spanning gigs, festivals and even outdoor art exhibitions — Sydney's beloved Westpac Openair Cinema is definitely returning to take care of your summer viewing plans. Now, the even better news: it'll be doing so with a jam-packed, just-announced lineup of new, recent and classic movies, so get ready to stare at a 350-square-metre screen rising from the harbour.

Thanks to its spot at Mrs Macquaries Point, Westpac Openair has spectacular panoramic views of the city, the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, which is one big part of the attraction, of course. But so is feasting your eyes on the event's hefty program, which'll kick off this year on Tuesday, December 15  — earlier than usual, because capacity restrictions required to remain COVID-safe mean that it will only seat 900 movie-goers per night — with a big pre-release screening of Australian crime drama The Dry.

From there, running through until Wednesday, February 24, Westpac Openair has plenty of films in store. In the brand new camp, Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan-starring period romance Ammonite is an absolute must-see, as is Australian frontier western High Ground. You can also head to space with George Clooney in Midnight Sky, check out women's surfing documentary Girls Can't Surf, see Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman in The Prom, and witness the cathartic power of befriending a magpie in Penguin Bloom. And, there's also the Gemma Arterton-starring Summerland, plus Emily Blunt and Jamie Dornan in Wild Mountain Thyme.

Fancy combining movies and music? American Utopia, David Byrne's latest — and magnificent — concert film, will give Westpac Openair quite the soundtrack. So will new documentary The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart, which steps through the eponymous band's full career and roster of hits.

Other recent titles hitting the very, very big screen include rom-com Baby Done, horror-comedy Freaky, Liam Neeson's latest action flick Honest Thief and Aussie sheep farmer dramedy Rams. Kajillionaire, starring Evan Rachel Wood as the daughter of two lifelong con artists, is also on the bill — and so are a heap of retro titles such as Love Actually, Almost Famous, Thelma & Louise, The Devil Wears Prada, Grease and Pulp Fiction.

Unsurprisingly, as well as the event's reduced capacity and its earlier start date, Westpac Openair will be implementing other COVID-safe measures — including physically distanced director and deck chair seating, rather than a grandstand. You'll also spot hand sanitiser stations around the place, and only online bookings will be taken.

Food-wise, you'll be tucking into ready-to-collect gourmet picnic hampers by Kitchen by Mike and its chef Mike McEnearney.

Especially given these adjustments, tickets are likely to go quick when they go on sale from 9am AEDT on Thursday, December 10. Across the summer of 2018–19, more than 40,000 tickets sold within the first two days of pre-sale — so put it in your diary ASAP.

Westpac Openair 2020 runs from Tuesday, December 15–Wednesday, February 24. Tickets go on sale from 9am AEDT on Thursday, December 10 — for more details, head to the event's website.

Image: Fiora Sacco

Published on November 30, 2020 by Sarah Ward

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