When former New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the state’s full roadmap out of lockdown, she gave cinephiles a particularly exciting piece of news. Movie theatres have been closed in Sydney since the end of June, when stay-at-home conditions came into effect — but, on the Monday following NSW reaching the 70-percent fully vaccinated mark, they’re permitted to welcome cinephiles back in the doors.
The state is expected to hit that 70-percent double-jabbed threshold sometime this week (aka the week commencing Monday, October 4), which makes Monday, October 11 the day that lockdown officially ends. So, that’s when projectors will be allowed to start whirring again in Sydney. While that doesn’t mean that it’s popcorn-munching business as usual quite yet, local cinemas will begin to reopen rather quickly.
Randwick Ritz will be one of the initial places to start ushering movie buffs back into darkened rooms, opening its doors on the very first day it can. It’ll relaunch with a heap of flicks that’ve been playing in other states where cinemas have been open over the past few months — some of which have made the leap to streaming already, too — such as Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Black Widow, The Suicide Squad and Free Guy. There’s also Nitram, Candyman, Respect, Jungle Cruise, Shiva Baby and Pig as well. Yes, that means that you can choose between everything from superheroes, supervillains and video game characters to harrowing true tales, stellar horror sequels, music biopics, movies based on theme park rides, indie comedies and Nicolas Cage doing his thing.
On the same date, the Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace will kick back into gear, continuing to balance fresh flicks and retro hits. That includes many of the new movies mentioned above, the likes of fellow new releases Annette, Rosa’s Wedding and The Rose Maker, plus old-school titles such as Dune, Aliens and Stop Making Sense.
And, that Monday will also see Palace’s Sydney sites will let punters back in, playing a lineup of brand new movies. Again, there’s some crossover in titles; however, here you can also see Nine Days, Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), The Killing of Two Lovers, Perfumes, Joe Bell, Ride the Eagle, Reminiscence, The Night House and Don’t Breathe 2.
Over at Golden Age Cinema and Bar, movies will start playing again from Wednesday, October 13 — and plenty of sessions have already sold out. On the bill: Annette, Pig, Summer of Soul and Shiva Baby, plus retrospective screenings of classics such as Heat, Don’t Look Now and Double Indemnity.
Dendy Newtown will reopen on Monday, October 11 as well, as will United Opera Quays, while Roseville Cinemas will relaunch on Thursday, October 14. And, if you’re wondering about the big end of town — yes, that’d be the multiplexes such as Event, Hoyts and Reading — much of them will open on Monday, October 11, too.
As happened in 2020 when picture palaces opened back up after lockdown, you can expect significant changes to the movie-going experience. Well, compared to pre-pandemic life, obviously. So, get ready for online bookings, allocated seating, gaps between patrons, contactless payment, social-distancing requirements and extra cleaning — again.
For more information about what’s screening in Sydney from October 11, or to book tickets, visit the websites for the Randwick Ritz, Hayden Orpheum, Palace, Golden Age Cinema and Bar, Dendy Newtown, Roseville Cinemas, United Opera Quays, Event, Hoyts and Reading.
Top image: Golden Age Cinema and Bar by Cassandra Hannagan.
Published on October 05, 2021 by Sarah Ward