A Unique View!

Tuesday, 10 March, 2015

What: Outdoor Cinema & Bar by Shadow Electric

Where: Abbotsford Convent. 1 St. Heliers Street, Abbotsford 3067

When: Until 2 April 2015

Set in the historic Abbotsford Convent, Shadow Electric’s outdoor cinema is certainly a Melbourne must-do. Tucked away from the main gate, visitors enter through a hidden nook then come to a screen frame which stands marvellously in front of them – 40 square metres of visual greatness. Early comers can bag central viewing spots but all seats enjoy a decent view in a unique environment.

The screenings on offer include new releases, classic movies, concerts, and documentaries catering for a range of tastes. It was also nice to see a Woody Allen romantic comedy that is no longer showing in cinemas. Screenings start after sundown, which may be late for some on a weeknight, but there is plenty to entertain beforehand, with a food truck, a bar, and ping pong tables. Although these are limited dinner options, you can work off what’s on offer (such as tasty Polish dumplings) with table tennis.

Settling into the green director chairs (not overly comfortable), it was refreshing to see only a few ads, and a sardonic short film that lasted the better part of a minute, prior to the main event. During the movie, the audio was crisp and at a good volume to hear Colin Firth and Emma Stone’s witty banter. It would be exhilarating to experience the digital surround sound watching Bjork’s concert, or a non-stop action movie, but for this particular movie, the sound nicely covered the rustling of snacks and footsteps of curious onlookers.

Close proximity to the screen made it feel larger than the standard Hoyts or Village screens. Visually the image was vibrant and sharp although, being outdoors, an occasional gust of wind made the projection screen flicker gently. While most rugged up sensibly with hats, blankets, and extra layers, it luckily wasn’t too cold that night. It felt nice and cosy, being all wrapped up, listening to Woody Allen’s friends chat the night away. A unique experience all up.

Key Facts:

  • $12 Tuesdays in February and March.
  • Rain policy allows tickets to be transferred to another night if there is a washout.
  • Under 18s must be accompanied by adult or guardian as it is a licensed venue.
  • Online booking fee of $2.50 per ticket.