Films head outdoors for the long hot summer

Rooftop Movies is back at the Roe Street Car Park in Northbridge. Cinema. Pictured are Jessica Darlow and Kristine Genovese enjoying popcorn. Picture: Ian Munro / The West Australian

As WA's summer begins to heat up, so does the growing number of Perth outdoor cinemas, with no less than 16 screens about to pop up across the metropolitan area from Joondalup to Mandurah and Mundaring to Armadale.

And with the increasing number of venues comes increased competition, forcing them to come up with increasingly innovative ways to attract viewers.

To make the most of the Perth summer, Rooftop Movies in Northbridge - which screens films on the sixth storey roof of a carpark building - is already up and running.

"We open before anyone else and make the most of the dry spell and the turn from spring to summer," Rooftop's program manager Jessica Darlow said.

"We're open for 5 1/2 months of the year, which is the longest season in Perth.

"Last year we sold over 30,000 tickets, which was up on the year before, and we hope it will be up again this year."

To stand out from the crowd, Rooftop sports city views, retro decor, old-fashioned caravan vendors and bean-bag chairs.

The program also gives audiences their say in the choice of films.

"Tuesday nights are 'Choose-day Nights', where people can request their favourite films online," Ms Darlow said.

"Friday nights we have classics and cult films programmed by clothing store Highs and Lows. We also offer special events, with live music and DJs before the film."

Directly below Rooftop Movies, the City of Perth's free LED screen in Northbridge Piazza runs themed nights such as Wednesday night Date Nights.

During December, Christmas-themed flicks such as Elf, The Grinch and Love Actually will screen between visits from Santa, carol singers and craft activities.

Luna Palace Cinemas, which operates Luna Outdoor in Leederville and Camelot Outdoor Cinema in Mosman Park, offers special event nights with plenty of freebies thrown in.

Camelot kicks off on December 4 with the hit film Gone Girl and Luna Outdoor follows on December 5 with the music documentary festival Gimme Some Truth, curated by local radio station RTRFM.

One of the new outdoor cinemas this year is Ben & Jerry's Open Air Cinema, which launches mid-March on the Perth Esplanade.

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