Melbourne’s Quirkiest Cinemas
Going to the movies is a beloved pastime in just about any city in the world.
Melbourne is particularly spoiled with a variety of unique cinemas for filmgoers to choose from. Whether you want something grand, unconventional, nostalgic or outdoorsy, Melbourne has it.
Located on Lygon Street, Cinema Nova is as Melbourne as the rapidly-changing weather. It’s the go-to place for arthouse and foreign films as well as a cosy, inexpensive venue to catch (most) blockbusters. What sets Nova apart is the variety of things on offer. The cinema doesn’t just screen films but operatic and stage performances from around the world, they also have in-cinema dining sessions. If you have time before or after your movie, be sure to check out the Nova Bar where there’s a rich selection of drinks and delightfully challenging trivia that takes place every month.
Thornbury Picture House
It may look like a pub on the outside but it’s a thoroughly enjoyable movie house on the inside. Screening a range of films that include new releases, documentaries, classics, cult films and family films at Thornbury Picture House there is bound to be something that will please you. The eccentric but intimate character of the place will instantly charm you as will the friendly staff of cinephiles. Your body will also love their comfortable chairs and legroom!
Thornbury Picture House – 802 High St, Thornbury VIC 3071
The Capitol opened in 1924 and now, after its recent refurbishment, looks like something from the year 3000. Far from a typical cineplex, this place (owned by RMIT University) is a hub of innovation. The Capitol showcases movies as well as an array of creative video content which includes experimental films by university students and a “virtual reality symposium” which is taking place in February 2020. Not only will the cinema blow your mind but the Capitol Coffee, Candy and Wine Bar will provide satisfying refreshments.
The Capitol – 113 Swanston St, Melbourne VIC 3000
This cinema, figuratively and literally, rises above most others. It sits on top of the historic Curtain House in the heart of Melbourne and offers not only new and classic movies on a big screen, but a stunning view of the city skyline. Rooftop Cinema’s space also features a burger shack and bar which will satisfy the tastebuds while the movie satisfies everything else. Note: the cinema only operates from December to March, don’t miss out!
Rooftop Cinema – 252 Swanston St, Melbourne VIC 3000
The stunning architecture of Palace Westgarth has been towering over High Street for almost a hundred years. While the cinema maintains many of its old aesthetics, it has plenty of appeal for the younger generations like the trendy outdoor bar and outdoor cinema. The movies on offer range from the current hits to older classics and artistic/foreign ones – this place will satisfy any of your cinematic desires. So come and enjoy a movie at Westgarth and you’ll see why audiences have been flocking here for 98 years.
Palace Westgarth – 89 High St, Northcote VIC 3070
From December 2019 to January 2020, Barefoot Cinema will be offering stunning, outdoor movie experiences throughout Victoria. Locations include the Point Nepean National Park (Portsea), The Briars (Mount Martha), the Rippon Lea Estate (Elsternwick) and a surprise location which will be announced in December. Not only will a movie be screened, but food trucks and live music will be available prior to showtime as well as ample time to explore the beautiful scenery. If you’re a movie-lover who prefers grass and sky in comparison to floor and ceiling, you won’t want to miss Barefoot Cinema.
Barefoot Cinema – Portsea, Mount Martha and Elsternwick
This heritage-listed cinema should be high on your list of Melbournian cinemas to try. The entire place has a beautiful art deco design and old world charm as well as eight screens waiting to show you all the finest films. There’s also a rooftop bar and gold class option for those who wish to treat themselves. Rivoli has also played host to many red carpet premiere events, so why not share the same floor which Daniel Radcliffe has walked on!
Rivoli – 200 Camberwell Rd, Hawthorn East VIC 3123
One of the few drive-ins left in Australia, this Melbourne institution offers an enjoyable movie experience coupled with the warm taste of nostalgia. Park in one of their 900 spots and enjoy the latest blockbuster from the comfort of your adjustable car seat and without awkwardly touching arms with strangers. It’s perfect for the whole family too, kids under 12 get in free and dogs are allowed (although they must be kept in your vehicle).
Coburg Drive-In – 155 Newlands Rd, Coburg North VIC 3058
Located in the hills of Belgrave, this cinema is well worth the hike. Within the retro exterior are eight intimate auditoriums showing all genres of quality film. During summer, movies are even shown outdoors so audiences can enjoy a film in the fresh air with a view of the picturesque Dandenong Ranges. In the words of the cinema’s owner, “The hills are alive, and the Cameo is absolutely a part of it!” You should be a part of it too.
Cameo Cinemas – 1628 Burwood Hwy, Belgrave VIC 3160