Could there be a better way to spend a balmy winter’s evening in Darwin than sitting under the stars watching a movie? After our evening doing so, we’d suggest not.
I’m always on the look out for different activities which will appeal to our whole family and the Deckchair Cinema was a winner. We thoroughly enjoyed the quirky independent cinema experience which Deckchair offers AND it’s accessible.
The Deckchair Cinema, located on the edge of Darwin Harbour, is Darwin’s only outdoor cinema. It was opened by the Darwin Film Society in 1994 and runs a program of varied films.
Taking the laid-back lifestyle of Darwin to the cinema, the Deckchair Cinema has 250 deckchairs for cinema-goers to use for a relaxing experience. If a deckchair isn’t your style, there’s also 150 straight back garden style chairs to use. Wheelchair users can remain in their chair.
BJ wasn’t long out of hospital so he enjoyed relaxing with the extra comfort of a pillow. Cushions are available to guests but if you’re a local you may prefer to take your own as there’s a limited number available.
Being an independent cinema, Deckchair has the ability to screen films which the bigger cinemas may not embrace. This made it a little tricky to find something which would appeal to us as a family, as the usual school holiday offerings weren’t showing on the nights we had available. In the end a small independent documentary, Outback Choir, had us all enthralled.
As our trip to Darwin followed our time visiting an Indigenous community a couple of hours from Uluru, we connected with the theme of the documentary. The movie follows the heart-warming journey of a regional children’s choir, and its founder Michelle Leonard’s personal mission to bring music to children in isolated country towns.
By the end of the movie we felt so invested in the children who had auditioned, made the cut and finally performed. It was an uplifting story and highlighted the trials and tribulations of running a children’s choir in the most isolated and disadvantaged region of NSW. It was lovely to see one person changing the lives of those children through her passion. If you’ve not seen the movie I highly recommend it
If you’d like to watch the sunset while dining before the movie, arrive early and take advantage of the food truck style offerings which change nightly.
We enjoyed a curry and a glass of wine while soaking up the atmosphere of Darwin Harbour. As the kids aren’t fans of curry they ate before we arrived and opted for snacks from the kiosk during the movie.
It was mid-winter and we enjoyed being in a tropical location with short sleeves rather than rugged up in Sydney.
The kiosk is fully licensed and also serves tea, coffee, popcorn and snacks. We recommend trying the local Crazy Acres ice cream, it’s scrumptious. BJ gave it a big thumbs up!
Level paved footpaths make accessibility a breeze.
Lather up with Mozzie repellant because the Mozzie’s don’t leave just because it’s winter. If you forget, Deckchair Cinema has some for guests to use.
Accessible parking is available outside the cinema but is limited so arrive when the ticket booth opens.
Arrive early if you’d like to dine at the cinema as the caterers can run out of food later in the evening. You can check out the caterer for the evening here.
If you are planning on enjoying one of the hot meals, bring cash as the caterers don’t accept credit cards.
A stand-alone accessible bathroom is available at the cinema.
You can read more about the Deckchair Cinema here.
We paid for our tickets to the Deckchair Cinema.