Thinking everything is bigger in the Hills District, last weekend I made the trek out to Sydney Hills Outdoor Cinema. Set inside Castle Hill Showground, what I found was a surprisingly compact arena constructed around a blow-up screen. With an imitation beach entranceway complete with blow up pool floats, this outdoor cinema offers up a bar, a hot food option, and multiple seating arrangements.
While you can opt for General Admission ($21.70/adult) and supply your own picnic blanket or low-lying chairs, if you want prime position right under the screen, the SmoothFM VIP ($35.10) is the way to go.
Three rows of brightly coloured banana lounges are arranged for you to choose from. They’re not exactly the most comfortable way to see a film, but it does score you a free Twisted Frozen Yoghurt Cup as the movie starts. I was pretty happy with my Strawberry & Vanilla Bean ($3/cup) version, which thankfully was delivered right to me in my highly collapsible seat that I was pretty much scared of moving at all in.
If butler service makes you happy, you could also consider the VIP Bell Tent ($309.80) for up to eight people, or the luxury Cabana Class ($156.10) for fun times with up to four people in a king sized bed. Your bed even comes with blankets, which is perhaps advisable, because when night falls, it gets a little cooler up here in the Hills.
From the bar we sipped on Pimms Original Cups ($11/each) that see the old-fashioned quaffer tarted up with lemonade, mint, orange, strawberries, cucumber and plenty of ice.
The hot food option, EpicPizza was a bit of a disappointment. They’d run out of gas, and cooled their oven down from the usual 300 degrees Celcius, meaning their New York style OK USA Pizza ($7/slice) with tomato paste, mozzarella, pepperoni and oregano, was going out almost stone cold.
With quite a chewy, bready crust it didn’t make for pleasant eating, or for happy customers when they kept serving the poorly heated pizzas despite knowing the oven wasn't at the correct temperature. Delightfully a laughing kookaburra interrupted their sponsor ad right before the film – now there’s something you don’t get at movies in the big smoke all that often!
Sydney Hills Outdoor Cinema runs until February 18. For more information go to: http://www.sydneyhillsoutdoorcinema.com.au/