At a Glance: Pile the family into the car and head out west to Blacktown for an evening of retro fun. Catch an early movie - it's a great night out and half the price of sitting in the boring old crowded cinema.
Cost: From $10.00
Opening Times: Late afternoon on
Kiosk or Cafe: Yes - Skyline Diner
Age Suitability: All ages
Description: Located just on the M4 at Blacktown in the same precinct as Wet and Wild World you will find Sydney's only current drive in. A night out at the Skyline Drive In is an awesome night for the whole family - it's very American, very Happy Days and oh so much fun! Get the kids in their pyjamas, load up the car with some snacks and blankets and hoon up the M4.
At this time of year (winter) family flicks start at 5.30pm and only last at most 2 hours. So you can be at home in plenty of time to tuck the kids in bed at a reasonable hour. As they are already in their PJs you can easily transfer them from the car to their bed if they fall asleep en route.
It was our first time at the drive in last weekend, we went to see How To Train Your Dragon 2. We purchased our tickets online the day before - something I recommend that you all do too. This way you guarantee yourself a car spot and it is also much cheaper. We paid $25.00 for a car with 4 people (plus a booking fee). If we had paid when we arrived at the ticket booth, it would have cost us $10.00 per person - no matter what age we all were.
We arrived at 5.00pm and there wasn't much of a queue. Some friendly gents in white overalls greeted us at the ticket booths and dealt with our tickets. They hand you a slip of paper with the details of an FM radio station for you to tune in to, so that you can hear your film from the comfort of your car.They then instruct you which field to park in. There are 2 fields so make sure you head for the correct one.
Our film was in Field 1 facing the M4. We found a spot near the back as we wanted to be close to the toilets and also exit. You park between the old fashioned speakers and your car is on a bit of a hump so that your view isn't impeded by a larger car parking in front. You could tell that we were novices as a lot of other cars (4WDS) reversed into their spot, and loaded everyone into the back and opened up the back door. Some people also bought their own fold up chairs and sat next to their car and listened to the film via the retro speakers.
If you forget to bring your own snacks you can go to the very retro and very cool, Skyline Diner. It's like stepping into the set of a Happy Days episode except there was no sign of the Fonz! Staff are kitted out in red candy stripe uniforms and they serve all of the usual awesome diner food, like hot dogs and mustard ($7). Prices at the diner are fairly reasonable - except for the popcorn so I recommend you pop your own before you come. You can eat at the diner in a funky booth or grab your food to go and eat back at the car. The diner is very popular so make sure you get in early as the queues can be very long indeed.
The toilets are located just behind the diner, closer to Field 1. Right in front of the loos, is the Gold Grass area, where you can bring your own chair and sit and watch the movie if you don't fell like hanging with the crowd in your own car. During the warmer months, some funky striped chairs are provided by the drive in for you to use.
We had a great view of the screen from our back car spot and even though nearly everyone arrives in a massive 4WD you still have a decent view of the screen. Thankfully there wasn't any cinema advertising only the preview for two other films that were coming soon. Oh and if you are after a good family movie to go and see, we all thoroughly recommend How To Train Your Dragon 2!
After the film we made a quick exit which was lucky as the queue to get out of the Skyline Drive In was huge as two films finish at once. If your film is on at Field 1 you actually have to exit via Field 2 - it's a little bit confusing so just follow everyone else. There is a trendy new hotel next door to the drive in called the Altura, so if you don't fancy hooning back home - book a room for the night - they do some great family deals.