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The Best Cinemas in Melbourne: See the Latest Films in Style

Whether it's a dazzling art deco building or a breezy rooftop, these are the best cinemas in Melbourne.

Palace Westgarth. Image credit: Kelsey Harrington

Melbourne is home to some of Australia's most spectacular cinemas, from classic 1920s Art Deco theatres to drive-ins with retro restaurants.

Complimented by an active festival calendar that lights up the city during winter with MIFF, Melbourne's movie offering puts a night on the couch watching Netflix to shame. 

From rooftops to carparks and cosy local haunts, skip the multiplex and make your way to one of Melbourne's best cinemas to catch the latest flicks.

Palace Penny Lane Cinemas 

Nestled within the vibrant Penny Lane development on Puckle Street in Moonee Ponds, Palace Penny Lane Cinema has quickly risen in the ranks as one of the best cinemas in Melbourne. Having only just opened in December 2023, it's stolen the scene (and winning Oscars) not just for its groundbreaking cinematic experience unlike any other in the area, but its enchanting rooftop cinema! Boasting 11 traditional screens alongside this sky-high showing, it's a new-concept entertainment hub that's must-visit destination for residents and film buffs alike. 

17 Puckle Street, Moonee Ponds 

Moonlight Cinema

Moonlight Cinema

Moonlight Cinema may be a summer-only addition to this list, but it is well worth a mention, giving you the chance you to bask under the light of its screen and a sea of stars above, on the idyllic lawn at  Melbourne's Royal Botanic Gardens. 

Screening the latest blockbusters, kids' films, Christmas classics and nostalgic flicks, pack a picnic and get ready for a charmed and relaxed evening out in Melbourne. 

Central Lawn, Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, Birdwood Avenue, Melbourne

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Cinema Nova

Cinema Nova

Arthouse films, international festivals and intimate Q&As with directors are aplenty at Carlton's much-loved Cinema Nova.

While Melbourne has no shortage of independent artsy theatres, the Lygon Street local is always buzzing thanks to its welcoming atmosphere, cheap tickets on Mondays, stellar snack selection (with arguably the city's best choc tops), and diversity in films - making this one of the best cinemas in Melbourne.

If you're looking for dinner alongside your flick, Carlton provides a smorgasbord of dining and drinking options including many of the city's oldest Italian restaurants. 

380 Lygon Street, Carlton

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Capitol Theatre

The Capitol

When it comes to theatre design, it doesn't get more intricate and ornate than The Capitol.

Located in the heart of city and regarded as one of the best cinemas in Melbourne, the architectural masterpiece was first built in 1924 and purchased by RMIT University in 1999, where it later went through a costly 5-year renovation.

The newly opened Capitol has spectacular acoustics, ultra Instagrammable old-meets-new interiors, and a charming café for all your cinema-going snacks.

Check out the website for regular events, which include an eclectic mix of live gigs, cinema, exhibitions, artists' talks and more. 

113 Swanston Street, Melbourne

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Palace Westgarth. Image credit: Kelsey Harrington

Palace Westgarth

An arthouse institution in Melbourne, Palace Westgarth wows with its 1920s architecture, spacious cinemas, and generous feature film-sized glasses of wine.

Perfect for an international film festival or a blockbuster flick, the cinema serves as a sophisticated backdrop for a casual movie or a romantic date.

Pay a visit on Tuesdays for cheap tickets, and spend the money you've saved on a couple of cocktails in the cinema's courtyard.

89 High Street, Northcote

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Sun Theatre

Sun Theatre

Featuring eight generously-sized cinemas each kitted out with comfy leather chairs and couches, Sun Theatre is perfect for larger groups and film clubs.

Enjoy discounted tickets on Mondays and Tuesdays, well-priced cinema snack combos, grand old-time theatre charm, and an extensive selection of quality wine from the cinema's very own 'Cellar Door'. 

8 Ballarat Street, Yarraville

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Cinema Como

Palace Cinema Como

Those looking for a luxe, sophisticated cinema experience will love Palace Cinema Como - it is one of the best cinemas in Melbourne, after all.

The opulent foyer is decked out with a circular plush velvet seat where you can sit down for a wine before your film, and the cinemas are comfortable and well-maintained.

Selected blockbusters and arthouse flicks grace the screens, and can be enjoyed while snacking on Palace's popular Olive Oil popcorn. 

The Como Centre, Level 1, Toorak Road and Chapel Street, South Yarra

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Lido Cinemas (and rooftop)

This cool and contemporary arthouse cinema delivers double the film-watching fun, with eight modern theatres and a spectacular rooftop cinema.

Whether you're watching inside or out, Lido Cinemas screens a curated lineup of big-budget Hollywood movies, arthouse films and cult classics.

On the snacks menu, you'll find boutique local wine and beers, special natural and vegan-friendly popcorn, handmade choc tops and fancy cheese platters. What's not to love?

675 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn

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ACMI Cinema

ACMI Cinemas

Providing a thrilling multisensory educational experience about the dynamic world of film, the ACMI is adored by cinema buffs and excitable kids alike.

Whether you want to host your next birthday (because who doesn't want a private movie screening?) or check out artsy flicks, retrospectives and foreign films, the ACMI's very own cinemas have you covered.

As film fanatics, you can bet the ACMI cinemas are equipped with the most up-to-date audio and visual technology to ensure you see and hear every delightful detail of your chosen film. 

Fed Square, Melbourne

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Village Cinemas Drive-In. Image credit: CASFFA

Village Cinemas Drive-In

The drive-in cinema is a much-loved fixture of almost every classic rom com, from Grease to The Cider House Rules, so why not recreate the romance for yourself?

At Village Cinemas Coburg Drive In, you can indulge in a milkshake and burger at the American-style diner, then get cosy in the back of your car as you experience thrilling new flicks on the outdoor screen.

Nostalgic, romantic, and super fun, cinema doesn't get much more charming than this at one of the best cinemas in Melbourne.

155 Newlands Road, Coburg North

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The best cinemas in Melbourne have it all, from beautiful architecture to great new films. For more inspiration for your cultural calendar, check out what's on in the city this weekend, or check out our unique guide to Melbourne's best date ideas.

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