Summer is here, which means so is the outdoor cinema season!
Out of curiosity, I decided to dive into the outdoor cinema experience by visiting the American Express Openair Cinemas, St Kilda pop-up venue. Located at South Beach Reserve next to the St Kilda Sea Baths, the cinema is right next to the ocean, literally. With Open Air Cinema’s St Kilda season kicking off from the 22nd of November to the 20th of December equipped with a great selection of films, it was not difficult for me to pick a film nor have an enjoyable experience.
There are different tiers of ticketing/seating: General Admission, Lounger, Kathmandu Korner, Amazon PrimeVideo Lounge and American Express Lounge. General Admission is the typical picnic rug, normal outdoor cinema experience. A Lounger is similar to General Admission, but with a bean bag included. Kathmandu Korner includes a camping chair, drink, popcorn and a 55% off voucher on Kathmandu gear, which you can use in store after your outdoor cinematic experience. This is great if you love the outdoors and can completely utalise the voucher.
Moving onto the more VIP tiers, the American Express Lounge and Prime Video Lounge both have wait service, with a bean bag, cushion, blanket, popcorn, an alcoholic drink (or any other non-alcoholic beverage). The difference between the two packages is that the American Express Lounge also have an unobstructed premium location (in St Kilda‘s case, a location centred and at the back of the outdoor cinema venue) and are also given Haagen-Dazs ice-cream.
When I attended Openair Cinemas in St Kilda, I attended under the Amazon Prime Video Lounge tier. Blessed with wait service in my package, I confess that the wait staff were so personal and lovely, you really do feel spoiled by having food and drinks delivered to you, all while you’re chilling on your bean bag, wrapped-up and cosy in your blanket. Although the selection of food is quite limited, consisting of snacks, pizza, salad or tiramisu cake, Ladro, famous for making authentic wood-fire oven pizza, provide extremely delicious, gourmet style food. After ordering a custom Margherita pizza with topped with tomato, bufala mozzarella cheese, basil, veneto salami and San Daniele Riserva prosciutto, served together with my wine, I was in heaven.
Also, personally, I loved the location of where the Amazon Prime Video Lounge was located, as I sat at the front, right in front of the cinema screen and was completely content. I understand everyone has their own particular favoured positions in the cinema and would suggest checking out the website to see where each tier is located and the perks they come with, prior to making any decisions if you choose to attend. I personally think it is more worth it to get a special package than general admission as Openair Cinemas in St Kilda is a lot smaller, more personal and more intimate than the average outdoor cinema. This is definitely a good thing, as the experience feels more exclusive and special.
Not only is Openair Cinemas self-contained in its own fenced off area, away from prying eyes, but it is also the perfect environment and opportunity to bring your dog along for the experience, without having to stress about your pet disappearing off-site. Openair Cinemas is one of the most pet friendly outdoor cinema experiences I have seen, and it was a genuine delight to watch other people’s dogs running around overjoyed.
On Saturdays, there is also live music prior to the movie, which is an extra treat for those that are lucky enough to attend a Saturday session.
By the time the screen turned on, I was comfy, well fed with my pizza, enjoying a second glass of wine and ready to enjoy the movie. My mind was filled with inspiration, as not even before the experience had ended, I was already making mental notes to definitely return to Openair Cinemas again.
For more information and ticketing, visit: https://www.openaircinemas.com.au/melbourne