The Scenesters' Guide to Sydney Indie Cinemas
(Originally posted on 23 May, 2016)
Looking for new, unique venues in Sydney to catch a casual flick? We got you covered. Here's the scenesters guide to Sydney indie - cool kids eat your heart out!
Golden Age & Bar
80 Commonwealth St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
Tucked away underground in what was once known as Sydney’s ‘Hollywood Quarter’, Golden Age embodies the authentic back-in-the-day cinema experience. From independent films to cult classics, there’s few better places to sit your bum and treat your eyes and ears than the beautifully restored screening room of the 1940s Paramount Pictures building. Its clever programming (http://ourgoldenage.com.au/now-showing/) not only pushes boundaries with indie and art film, but also includes panel discussions, gigs and events. This is a venue that is doing great things for Sydney’s cultural scene, with the added bonus of having one of the best bars in town.
249 Oxford St, Paddington (Cnr Oxford St & Oatley Rd)
Watching a film at the Chauvel is like curling up on a couch in your jammies with your nearest and dearest. Once upon a time this was the Paddington Town Hall ballroom, but these days it’s a hub of screen culture showing the best in international film and documentary. Housed above the recently-closed production and training facility Metroscreen, this cinema has seen its fair share of activity in Sydney’s film scene.
112 Darlinghurst Rd, Darlinghurst NSW 2010
Sydney should have more venues like this, although nothing could ever quite match dinner and a movie at Govindas. The best date night going, here you can dine at what has been dubbed Sydney’s best vegetarian buffet, before reclining on a pillow bed to watch an excellent film. And it’s cheap too, with dinner and a movie setting you back just over $30. Hell, you could go all out and do some meditation and yoga while you’re there.
261-263 King Street, Newtown NSW 2042
You couldn’t talk about Sydney’s indie/arthouse cinema scene without mentioning the Dendy Newtown. With the best of current film alongside cult Hollywood classics, an arts line up and film festivals (like HRAFF http://www.freshflix-fest.com/popcornprattle/our-take-on-hraff-2016-films-for-social-justice), this is one Sydney cinema that is doing everything right. Students get discounted tickets on Wednesday nights and if you bring a date on a Sunday you can strike a deal too.
380 Military Rd, Cremorne NSW 2090
The cultural institution that is the Orpheum stands out like a glorious beacon along Cremorne’s busy Military Road. The 1935 theatre has been restored to all its art deco glory, with the sexy addition of a Mighty Wurlitzer organ from California’s Fresno Theatre. There’s a little somethin somethin for everyone here with edgy films, classics and singalongs. It’s also Sydney’s home to the absolutely must-see Worst Movie of All Time, The Room (http://www.orpheum.com.au/wp-cinema/movie/O-THE-ROOM/THE+ROOM+AN+INTERACTIVE+EXPERIENCE/).
45 St Pauls Street, Randwick NSW 2031
Another classic family-owned, art deco institution, the Randwick Ritz boasts it has ‘the lowest ticket prices going’. With one of the largest cinema auditoriums in Sydney and a bar stocked with local beers, Aussie wines and cocktails, You’re in for a pretty pleasant evening here. Check out their Girls Nights, Sci Fi Sundays or Q&A screenings.
17 Oxford St, Paddington NSW 2021
With the Chauvel up the road, Oxford Street is absolutely rolling in indie cinema greatness. The Verona’s carefully curated program and array of international film festivals has earnt it a reputation as a high quality venue showing important films. If you’re a little early, duck across the road for some jazz and vino at the Berkelouw Books wine bar (http://berkelouw.com.au/stores/paddington).
Palace Norton Street
99 Norton St, Leichhardt NSW 2040
Halfway along Norton Street lies the sister to Paddington’s Verona and Chauvel. What better place to set your eyes on some of the best of foreign film than right in the vibrant heart of Sydney’s “Little Italy”.
112 Pacific Hwy, Roseville NSW 2069
A family-owned business since the old Town Hall was converted into a ‘picture palace’ in 1919, Roseville Cinema has remained true to it’s roots, showcasing independent and foreign films. A great little cinema to head to in the Upper North Shore, catering nicely to all ages.
Did we mention that we also screen independent films from all around the world in unique locations around Sydney? Our events come to different community venues every other month, and tickets are released on a limited basis. Interested in getting involved and supporting community arts? Come along to the next Freshflix!
Written by Jessica Hamilton