Sydney’s Quirkiest Cinemas

Sydney is the home of many a great cinema, be they weird, wonderful, wacky or all of the aforementioned. From harbourside views to picture houses built in the 1930s, Sydney has a wide-ranging list of must-see cinemas.

Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace

Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace. Image via: Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace

The name may be grand, but just wait until you step into the place. The Hayden Orpheum began life as The Orpheum on October 3 1935. In 1986, the venue joined the Hayden Group of Companies and was lovingly restored – in particular, the art deco restoration. The restored Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace reopened December 9 1987 and today has six screens, which all have state of the art equipment. Get in early and witness the unique and mighty Wurlitzer pipe organ performance before your film kicks-off in the main auditorium – it’s all very civilised.

Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace – 380 Military Rd, Cremorne NSW 2090

Dendy Cinemas, Newtown 

Dendy Newtown. Image via: Dendy Cinemas

If one was looking for an institution, Dendy Cinemas Newtown is where to find one. Dendy shows the latest and best in quality movies and offers experiences for all cinema goers, however for Dendy Newtown, their reputation and community importance is their true drawcard. It is one of the things that Newtown is known for, and both Newtown and Dendy fully embrace.

Dendy Cinema, Newtown – 261-263 King St, Newtown NSW 2042

Chauvel Cinema

Chauvel Cinema. Image via: Palace Cinemas

The Chauvel Cinema is a heritage-listed venue that has been operating in Paddington for over 40 years. It has become a gathering place for cinema lovers and showcases independent, world and cult films. The cinema is adorned with a gorgeous ornate ceiling which creates an atmosphere of grandeur, making it a beloved destination for film-buffs.

The Chauvel Cinema – 249 Oxford St, Paddington, NSW 2021

St George Open Air Cinema 

St George Open Air Cinema. Image via: sydney.com

This cinema is one of the most creative outdoor cinemas we know of – and so it is definitely worth a mention. The harbourside venue is only open between January and February, making it quite the exclusive event. Not only does the spectacle of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House make the view special, but the screen itself rises from the water and it is truly a sight to see.

St George Open Air Cinema – Fleet Steps, Royal Botanical Gardens, Sydney

Ritz Cinemas

The Ritz Cinema Randwick. Image via: www.ritzcinemas.com.au

The Ritz in Randwick was built in 1937 and is now a heritage listed cinema multiplex located in the heart of Sydney’s eastern suburbs. With art deco fittings and one of the largest permanent cinema auditoriums in Sydney, the Ritz Cinemas provides excitement and entertainment of ‘the movies’ straight from the golden age of cinema.

Ritz Cinemas – 45 St Pauls St, Randwick NSW 2031

Mount Vic Flicks

Mount Vic Flicks. Image via: Marty Walker,  https://mjw.photo

Now this theatre may be a little out of Sydney, but it is well worth the drive. Located in Mount Victoria and built in 1934, the cinema is a window into the golden age of Australian country picture theatre culture. The family-run and owned cinema plays a mix of new release and classic films from Australia and abroad. Many of the classic film screenings are played alongside their resident theatre organist.

Mount Vic Flicks – 2a Harley Ave, Mount Victoria NSW 2786

Dendy Cinemas, Opera Quays 

Dendy Opera Quays. Image via: Dendy Cinemas

Dendy Cinemas makes yet another appearance, however, this one is quite different. Overlooking Darling Harbour, there is a little more opera to this venue than trendiness that can be found in the Newtown venue. Dendy Cinemas Opera Quays has three state-of-the-art cinemas, fitted with surround sound and comfortable seating. Plus, all theatres are licensed so your drinks can be taken into the cinemas and enjoyed while you watch your film of choice.

Dendy Cinemas, Opera Quays – Shop 9, 2 East Circular Quay, Sydney NSW 2000

Roseville Cinemas

Roseville Theatre. Image via: Roseville Theatre

Roseville Cinemas has been serving the North Shore community for many years since it was built in the 1900s as a town hall for the area. When World War I broke out, the hall was used for a recruitment drive for soldiers. After the war, it was named Traynor’s Picture Palace and renovated in the beautiful Art Deco style. Since then, it has remained a family-owned business, and today serves the community as a beloved independent cinema that shows local and foreign films.

Roseville Cinemas – 112 Pacific Highway, Roseville NSW 2069

Skyline Drive In Blacktown 

Skyline Drive Ins. Image via: Skyline Drive-In Blacktown

50 years on, and the newly revived Blacktown Drive-In, now the Skyline Drive-In, is going strong! The drive-ins are a nostalgic and fun way to see the newest Hollywood blockbuster, and in this case, is made all the more nostalgic thanks to the ‘Happy Day’s style retro diner located next to the drive-ins. The Skyline Drive In shows both nostalgic films and new releases, so dust off your deck chair or fill your car with pillows and give Skyline Drive In a visit!

Skyline Drive In Blacktown – Cricketers Arms Rd, Blacktown NSW 2148