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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Wonderdome

Recline on throne-style beanbags, stare up a 21-metre dome and watch films that've been designed to take up the entire 360-degree space.
By Sarah Ward
November 14, 2021
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By Sarah Ward
November 14, 2021
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It isn't called the big screen for nothing — and, when you head to the pictures, that's typically what you spend a couple of hours peering at. But you won't just be staring at a giant rectangle at Wonderdome, Sydney's new pop-up cinema experience. In a blend of film, music and art that takes its cues from planetariums, you'll be sat in a dome watching movies that've been specifically designed to take up the whole 360-degree space that's towering above you.

When Wonderdome hits Entertainment Quarter between Saturday, December 4–Sunday, January 30, it'll offer Australia's largest-ever 360-degree projection cinema. The structure itself is a geodesic steel dome that spans 21 metres in diameter, and is filled with multiple projectors, as well as a 7.2 surround sound system. To watch, you'll recline on throne-style beanbags and stare up at the movie. Given that the projection sprawls all around you, it's been likened to virtual reality — but without the goggles.

The 22-film lineup includes the dazzling Coral Rekindling Venus, which sees Emmy Award-wining Australian filmmaker Lynette Wallworth focus on fluorescent coral reefs, bioluminescent sea creatures and rare marine life; National Geographic's David Attenborough-narrated Flying Monsters, about flying dinosaurs; the climate-focused Dynamic Earth, which benefits from Liam Neeson's vocal work; and Carriberrie, which focuses on Indigenous Australian dance and song.

Fulldome cinema is also known for its psychedelic and eye-popping visual displays, which is where Samskara, from artist Android Jones, comes in — plus Labyrinth, which is filled with squares, streets, passages, corridors and rooms; and Luminokaya, which lets you explore Cambodian temple complex Angkor Wat.

Snacks-wise, you'll be able to grab something to eat and drink either before or after each Wonderdome session, with the menu including jaffles, chips, slushies, chocolates and ice creams. Plus, there'll be a gin bar, as well as a lineup of craft beers.

Wonderdome's Entertainment Quarter season will also accept New South Wales' Dine & Discover vouchers, if you have some left — or you're eager to get your hands on more when two extra vouchers become available for NSW residents over the age of 18 sometime this summer.

Tickets go on sale from 11am AEST on Wednesday, November 17 via the Wonderdome website.

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