Theres nothing like a bit of nostalgia on a Saturday night, especially when its paired with a glass of red. These beautiful old theatres are the place to go when you arent in the mood for blockbusters, shopping malls and teenagers throwing popcorn at the back of your head.
From the Art Deco architecture down to the red velvet upholstery, this Heritage Listed cinema oozes old Hollywood charm. Originally built in 1937, The Ritz has maintained its nostalgic appeal and is still family-owned and independent. On the mezzanine level, youll find the Ritz Bar, serving cocktails, wines, beer and bar snacks. And because the cinema is fully licensed drinks can be brought into every theatre, which is how it should be, because who wants to watch a movie without wine? Tickets at The Ritz are also known to be some of Sydneys cheapest, which makes this old-worldly picture house even more loveable.
45 St Paul’s St. Randwick NSW 2031 |(02) 8324 2500
Aside from The Ritz, Hayden Orpheum is Sydneys only other original Art Deco cinema. Built way back in 1935, this heritage cinema makes a substantial effort to create an atmosphere of yesteryear with a pianist in the foyer, and the impressive Wurlitzer Organ played live before selected screenings. With a solid selection of arthouse films, themed nights, film festivals, revival screenings of cult classics, and of course a wine list, Hayden Orpheum has created its cult status as one of Sydneys best boutique cinemas.
380 Military Rd. Cremorne NSW 2090 |(02) 9908 4344
Once the ballroom of Paddington Town Hall, The Chauvel was turned into a cinema in 1977 and its dcor is a beautiful reminder of its retro roots. About five years ago it looked like Chauvel might close, much to the dismay of film buffs across Sydneys east. Thankfully it was saved by Palace and managed to maintain its independent vibe, with a high-quality selection of arthouse films, cult classics, a weekly film club called Chauvel Cinemateque, and my personal favouritewine at the candy bar.
Cnr Oxford St. and Oatley Rd. Paddington 2021 |(02) 9361 5398
With just one theatre seating up to 56 lucky people, this has got to be Sydneys tiniest cinema, and that makes it all the more unique. With a cinematic history dating back to the 1940s, this cute little picture house was the original screening room for Paramount Pictures Australian headquarters. Adjoining the cinema is the Golden Age Bar, an intimate and beautifully designed space that feels both welcoming and exclusive, like youve stumbled across a hidden speakeasy in the 1940s, and the live music on Thursday and Saturday nights tops off the atmosphere. As well as screening both new and old films for the public, Golden Age Cinema can be privately hired for work events, product launches or a ridiculously extravagant date.
Paramount House, 80 Commonwealth St. Surry Hills NSW 2010 |(02) 9211 1556