Moonlight Cinema welcomes you to a Roman amphitheatre-style experience on the rolling grassy slopes of Centennial Park. Arrive at dusk and set yourself up with a bean bag (available to rent for a $9 steal) or a self-constructed picnic sphere.
Be as creative as you can with your setup, or prepare to suffer major jealousy at the sight of your neighbour’s fruit-filled tupperware and pretty cups on display!
The crowd trickles in over the course of one hour and then the film begins, as the sky darkens and is filled with huge bats flying overhead. American football-inspired servers do the rounds with their trays of beverages and snacks.
This particular night’s showing was the seasonal-appropriate Office Christmas Party starring Jennifer Aniston (who doesn’t love Jennifer Aniston?) and Jason Bateman.
Although it didn’t quite feel like Christmas for this non-Aussie native (as we all sat outside in our cardigans, shorts or dresses at 9pm in the middle of December), the snowy Chicago scenes on the screen — coupled with an occasional hilarious moment from the film — created an amusing and laid-back atmosphere conducive to the Christmas spirit.
The sloping ground at this location in the park presents a perfect spot for an outdoor cinema event. The incline allows you to lie comfortably on your back while enjoying the movie. That loved-up couple sitting cuddled up in front of you won’t block the view of the huge screen!
The dialogue and sound could possibly have been amplified further and there was a slight echo from the speakers placed at the edges of the venue, but it was nothing worth stressing over.
When the film wraps up and the audience stretches and begins to migrate towards the exit, you may notice a distinct impression reminiscent of festival camping, as each person leaves their imprints in the grass. Whether you leave sleepy-headed or buzzing to continue the evening’s excitement, outdoor cinemas in a pleasant climate will always be a crowd pleaser.
Aoibheann is a really tanned Irish writer and photographer who is waiting for the day she can earn a living from sunbathing, going to the gym, reading Charles Dickens and eating ridiculous amounts of mangoes in Asia. Follow her on @vegan__ventures.