With the beautiful climate we have here in Brisbane, watching a movie outdoors is a great family activity to enjoy all year round. Grab a picnic rug and a bowl of popcorn, snuggle under a blanket and enjoy the fun and unique experience of watching great films under the stars!
There are many places around Brisbane where you can enjoy outdoor movies, including many free options. Find the best ones to suit your budget and location below.
Free Outdoor Movies
Movies in the Park, Various Locations
Brisbane City Council regularly runs free movie screenings in local parks. This is the perfect way to enjoy big screen entertainment without paying a cent or venturing far from home. Just bring your own picnic and a rug or chair and you have the makings of a great family night out.
To find out what movies are coming up and where, visit brisbane.qld.gov.au to view the event calendar. If you fancy a free indoor movie experience, there are also free movies in local libraries for you to enjoy!
Lone Pine Outdoor Cinemas, Fig Tree Pocket
Lone Pine Outdoor Cinemas runs free movie screenings every 1st and 3rd Friday of the month outside Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary (entry to the sanctuary is not required). There is a screen at the Riverside Cafe where there is seating and tables and you can buy a bite to eat or a beverage (adult beverages available too). Or you can bring blankets and pillows to watch the screen by the grassy amphitheatre.
Start times are nice and early, which is great for younger kids, and there is free parking. You can even bring your dog (on a lead). There’s also a market there from 4pm on the same days, with a variety of food trucks so you can buy dinner or snacks. Visit koala.net or Lone Pine Markets & Movies to see what’s coming up next.
Movies in the Park, Manly
Manly Harbour Village is a great seaside venue that holds a free month movies in the park event. Bring a chair or picnic blanket and settle down to enjoy a great family movie. You can bring your own food, or visit the nearby local Manly Harbour Village restaurants to get a lovely take-away dinner or snacks from fish & chips to pizza and gelato.
Go to manlyharbourvillage.com to find out what movie is on this month.
Paid Outdoor Movies
Moonlight Cinema, Roma Street Parkland
Head to Roma Street Parkland from December through to March for a full program of open-air cinema screenings, showing movies to suit everyone’s taste. Enjoy all the fun in the Parkland in the afternoon, then head to the Moonlight Cinema for an early evening family film and to grab dinner at one of the food trucks onsite.
Check out moonlight.com.au to see this year’s movie program.
Openair Cinema, Brisbane City Botanic Gardens
Every summer (usually in October) is the Openair Cinema, showing a range of new releases and classic flicks. There is also live music to enjoy and food and drinks for purchase too. You can even get seat-service on your lounger if you book to be seated in the Star Lounge area. Others can bring your own blankets or hire a lounger.
Head to openaircinemas.com.au to see this year’s line-up of movies.
Tivoli Drive-in, Chuwar, Ipswich
Want to watch an outdoor movie even in the rain, where you can take the kids already dressed in the PJs? Then a drive-in theatre is probably the place to go! This drive-in is open every Saturday night and has early start times and very low prices per car. There are also market stalls from 4pm and there’s a great cafe too.
You can read all about the Tivoli Drive-in here.
Yatala Drive-in, Yatala
For a fun drive-in movie experience where you can enjoy the latest blockbusters from the comfort of your own car, you can head to Yatala Drive-in Theatre. It is open 7 nights a week and often works out cheaper than taking the whole family to normal cinema sessions. There’s even a ’50s style diner for that authentic all-American experience and great movie food and snacks to enjoy!
Visit yataladrive-in.com.au for all show times and further information.
If you are keen to head to the movies but worried about affordability then read our locals guide on How to Save Money at the Movies.