Words by: Matthew Stephenson
It was with Melbourne’s summer sun on my shoulders and a refreshing sea breeze at my back that I stepped through the gates of Ben & Jerry’s Openair Cinema on their opening night. The first thing that struck me was the size of the space. The fenced off portion of grass reserved for the cinema is quite small, however there certainly is a lot packed into such a compact area.
Of course there is the giant inflatable screen itself and a large area full of beanbags and deck chairs, but there is also a bar, a popup Ladro pizza restaurant, a small mini golf setup, a giant game of Jenga, some weird game involving flipping over giant fake cow pats, and of course a stand handing out free (yes FREE!) Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream.
The games were a fun distraction and helped fill the time before the live music started, plus they offered the opportunity to win various Ben & Jerry’s themed prizes. However the highlight of the evening was chowing down on one of Ladro’s delicious “BADABING” pizzas while sipping on an ice cold cider while listening to the live music.
It wasn’t long before the night’s headline act, Gypsy & the Cat, took to the stage. They performed an impressive hour long set, however the crowd was disappointingly unenthusiastic. Preferring to stay seated and chat rather than dance and rock out. Then as the sun set it was time for the film, the charming rom-com About Time, to begin. It was a perfectly sweet and whimsical fit for a fun (and ice cream) filled balmy evening.
Ben & Jerry’s Openair Cinema is certainly worth a visit this summer, particularly on Sundays nights when they have their “Sundae Sessions” which feature free ice cream for all. How could you say no to that?!
Ben & Jerry’s Openair Cinema runs from 1st to the 22nd of December. Head here for tickets and info.