Baby and Child-Friendly Cinemas + Screenings in Sydney

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Hooray for Sydney’s fabulous mum and bubs cinema screenings!  Actually, we must not be sexist, hooray for all the cinemas that work well for BOTH parents of babies and toddlers!

What is it about giving birth that suddenly makes mums and dads stop loving going to the movies?

Nothing, is the answer!

I was at the movies when I was in labour with my first son, turning up the TENS machine scene by scene. I was just as keen to see movies after he popped out as I had been before.

In Sydney, you’ll find baby-friendly cinemas with special rooms just for babies and toddlers, plus screenings for families, where babies and toddlers are welcome.  The screenings are not held in school holidays sadly, but the ‘baby crying rooms’ are available all through the year.

 


 

 

 


 

How To Go To The Movies With A Baby or Toddler

Tiny babies often behave very well in cinemas, sleeping a lot and feeding the rest of the time; they often do really well if you have them in a baby carrier, sling or wrap (check some good ones out here).

But as babies grow bigger they don’t always comply with accepted adult cinema etiquette. Other cinema-goers are not very impressed when a baby starts to squawk and splutter, or even screech and shriek.

When they get a bit older, babies want to sit up and watch the screen and pass their own comments on the action.

The special baby movie sessions and the cinemas with ‘baby crying rooms’ are the ideal places to frequent to see movies with babies.

 

Baby Crying Rooms

A ‘baby crying room’ is not the most descriptive term since most babies are very happy in these sound-proof rooms set at the back of a mums and bubs cinema.

The rooms have huge windows and up to 10 seats. Some mums and bubs baby crying rooms have other amenities for babies such as bouncers and change tables.

 

Roseville Cinema Baby Crying Room

Roseville is a really charismatic, old-fashioned picture house. It’s a family-owned and operated independent cinema, quite a breath of fresh air.

I’m terribly fond of it for its olde worlde features and its great choice of art-house movies.

This was the first cinema with a ‘baby crying room’ that we ever tried… long ago now, but still remembered!

Roseville cinema baby kids

Roseville Cinema by night, always a welcome sight.

Roseville Cinema

112 Pacific Highway, Roseville 2069

Phone: 9416 8555

Website: www.rosevillecinemas.com

Times: Baby crying room in both cinemas

Both screens of the Roseville cinema have separate ‘baby crying rooms’ inside the cinema. This is a glassed-in area, suitable for families with babies and young children.

Both have six seats. There are volume, air conditioner and light dimmer controls in the rooms. No bookings are taken for the rooms, so it is a first-come-first-served scenario and the cinema advises arriving at least 15 minutes early.

Prams cannot go into the rooms but car seats and bouncers can. A bouncer and a change table is placed in each room.

Parents can take partners and friends into the crying rooms, but if another parent and child need the seat the companions will be asked to sit in the main part of the cinema.

Parking: Street parking on Pacific Highway and side streets

Nearest station: Roseville is a short walk away

Bus stop nearby: Yes

Roseville cinema baby kids choc tops

Home-made choc tops at Roseville!

 

 

 
 

Richmond Regent Baby Crying Room

149 Windsor Street, Richmond 2753

Phone: 02 4578 1800

Website: www.richmondregent.com.au

Times: All screenings in Cinema One

The Spanish-style Art Deco exterior of this cinema is a delight, as is the baby-friendly interior. Cinema One has a ‘baby crying room’. The room has nine seats and babies usually sit on their parent’s knees.

There is no extra charge to use the room and bookings are not taken so early arrival is advised.

Parking: Street parking on Windsor Street

Nearest station: Richmond is a short walk away

Bus stop nearby: Yes

Thanks to John and Erica for permission to use their photo.

 

 

Warriewood Cinema Centre Baby Crying Room

4 Vuko Place

Warriewood 2102

Phone: 9913 2744

Warriewood website here

Times: All screenings in three of the cinemas

‘Baby crying rooms’ are found in three of the centre’s seven cinemas. Each has four seats. There are volume, air conditioner and light dimmer controls in the rooms.

Strollers can be left in front of the cinema. Many people bring their car seat or bouncer in for the baby to sit in.

The cinema’s website doesn’t have any information about the ‘baby crying rooms’ so it’s best to call ahead to check what movies you can see. It’s a very good idea to book ahead too. Just call the cinema to chat it all through.

Parking: Free carpark, entrance on Vuko Place

Bus stop nearby: Yes

 

PS  Remember to let your babies know that they don’t HAVE to cry when you take them into the ‘baby crying rooms’!

Tell them, really you’d prefer if they snoozed, or watched the movie with you!

 
 

 

 


 

Parent + Baby-Friendly Cinema Screenings

 

Dendy Newtown Reel Bubs 

Did you know that Dendy Newtown hosts Reel Bubs sessions each Thursday and Friday at 10am?

Low-level lights are on during the film, and sound levels are adjusted to suit babies, toddlers and their parents and carers.

Strollers must be left in the foyer. You are welcome to take a baby capsule into the cinema itself.

Some notes:

  • free admission for kids under five years old
  • REEL BUBS only runs during school terms
  • Tickets are only $10

Book tickets online at www.dendy.com.au from the Tuesday prior to the session.

Dendy Newtown

261-263 King St, Newtown, NSW 2042

Dendy Newtown webpage here

 

Event Cinemas Bring Your Baby

The Bring Your Baby sessions are held at most Event Cinemas, usually on Mondays, Wednesday or Fridays. They are only held during school terms.  Tickets cost $10 and children aged four and under are free. 

Some of the cinemas even show Bring Your Baby screenings in Gold Class, now that would be a treat!

Check whether your local Event Cinema runs Bring Your baby sessions on the Event website here.

 

 

 

Hoyts Prams at the Pix

See Prams At The Pix webpage here

Check your local cinema on the main Hoyts page here.

Times: weekly on Wednesdays at Hoyts cinemas in Sydney except Chatswood Mandarin, except in school holidays.

Hoyts shows a great range of movement, with reduced ticket prices and under fives go free!  The lights are dimmed and volume is slightly reduced.  

 

 

Palace Babes in Arms

The Palace Norton Street and Palace Verona both run Babes in Arms sessions on Thursdays at 11am, with tickets costing $10.

Palace Central runs Babes in Arms on Wednesdays at 11am in the Platinum screen with luxurious reclining seats, in-cinema service and the Platinum menu. This costs $15.

NB These screenings are only held during school terms.

Children under three enter free at all locations.

Find the Babes in Arms webpage here.

Check the main Palace Cinemas website here.

 

Randwick Ritz BYO Baby

Times: Every Monday and Wednesday morning at 10am in school terms.

Check out what’s on on the Randwick Ritz webpage here.

BYO Baby is the name of the baby-friendly screening at the Randwick Ritz. The screening is held in the main cinema and is very popular.

The lights are left on very low and the movie’s sound level is slightly reduced, easier on those little ears.

Strollers are not usually taken into the cinema but can be left in the foyer.  It is preferable to carry baby into the cinema or use a capsule.

The Randwick Ritz 

45 St Paul Street

Randwick 2031

Phone: 9399 5722

Baby change: Change facilities in ladies toilet

Parking: Parking at Ezipark just alongside, ask for a voucher at the box office.  Street parking on St Paul Street and side streets

Bus stop nearby: Yes

 

 

 

Reading Cinema Rhodes: Spit The Dummy

The Spit the Dummy session at Reading Cinema Rhodes is on every Wednesday morning. With dimmed lights, you can see what you (and the babies/kids) are doing. Entry is free for two children under five when with a paying adult.  So you can enjoy your movie without worrying about the kids annoying other adults!

Reading Cinema Rhodes

Rhodes Waterside Shopping Centre

1 Rider Boulevard

Rhodes 2138

Phone:9736 7900

Check the website here for movies coming up

Strollers can be left in the foyer of the cinema. Most people will bring a baby in a baby carrier, capsule or even bring a little bouncer to put on the floor.

Parking: Rhodes Waterside Shopping Centre has a large underground carpark. Reading Cinemas Rhodes’ ticket holders can enjoy FOUR HOURS of free parking seven days a week.  What’s better, if you enter the carpark after 6pm, parking is unlimited and FREE!

Bus stop nearby: Yes – Route 458

Train: Rhodes Train Station is a 5-minute walk away

[Things do change… please do email me if you find a new baby cinema which is great for babies and young children. Likewise, if any of the details have changed don’t hesitate to contact me. Thank you!]

 

 
 

 

 


 

What Do Parents Say About Baby-Friendly Cinemas and Screenings

As is often the case in baby-related matters, some parents swear by the mums and bubs movies and crying rooms and others swear about them!

Here is a handful of comments from film-going parents and carers:

 ‘I wouldn’t advise anyone to go to see a film that requires much concentration. It’s not the way to see a Schindler’s List, there can be just too much commotion, but with light-hearted films it’s no problem.’

‘Sometimes you get a bit of a pram traffic jam, so I just walk her along in the sling. She likes to sit on my lap now, watching the screen sometimes and playing with her toys, blowing raspberries if she gets fed up.’

‘Baby crying rooms are great for parents; there’s more choice of films as they are available for every screening in cinemas that have them. They’re great for nights out as a couple—it’s a bonus if the baby does drop off and lets us watch in peace, but it doesn’t matter if he doesn’t.’

‘You do get lots of screaming at the screenings, but that’s the beauty of it. No-one expects perfect peace and quiet, and no-one gets it!’

Do you visit mums and bubs movie screenings with your baby?

Any top tips for parents thinking of giving it a go?

Bring your baby and enjoy your movie!

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted on: January 4, 2020

11 Comments

  • Reply February 1, 2014

    Linda

    Hi Seana – great list! I used to go the the Palace Cinema Norton Street almost every week after the birth of my first baby … loved it.
    Reading Cinema at Rhodes has Crying Rooms in it’s 2 largest cinemas. It is my local these days so please let me know if I can help with a write up.
    Linda

    • Reply February 2, 2014

      Seana Smith

      Oh I didn’t know that. I must add it to the list. Would love to hear more about it. Thank you.

  • Reply August 24, 2015

    Una

    Hi,
    I’ve heard that some movie theatres can be strict about how old the baby must be to attend. Some say under 3, one even says under 1 and requires you to submit a birth certificate, which then has to be approved by the cinema! I think that would be a problem for me because I’m a teenager and I require the amenities offered at baby-friendly screenings. For example, they offer “lowered volume for baby’s sensitive hearing”. Well, my hearing is pretty sensitive, and I’m also sensitive to touch and vibrations. And when I get overstimulated, it’s not fun. They also say it’s OK if the baby cries or otherwise makes noise during the film. I’m quite impulsive and often comment on what’s going on, sometimes referencing my interests (at regular screenings, I’ve been shushed a lot). I’m worried that if I go to the cinema that requires you to attend with an infant under 1 year old and show a birth certificate for proof, that they won’t let me in, even though I need these services and find it difficult to attend otherwise. If they refuse to let me in even after showing them a doctor’s note, would that be a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act?
    I’ve heard that some cinemas in the UK are offering dementia-friendly screenings, and the movies shown at those are typically old musicals, which I enjoy. Not only they lower the sound and allow people to make noise, they have volunteers and educate the entire house staff on how to help someone who might be confused (I’m socially impaired, so do you think that would be helpful?). I hope these screenings will come to NYC so I can participate.

    • Reply August 24, 2015

      Seana Smith

      Hello there, we’re in Sydney Australia and there are some sensory movie days here which are specially for people with sensory issues. You might find something like that in NYC?

      My son has ASD and sounds like he has similar issues to you. Can’t help with info about any US legislation but wishing you all the best for finding screenings that work for you.

  • Reply August 24, 2015

    Una

    Hi,
    I’ve attended some of AMC’s sensory-friendly screenings, as well as one Regal baby-friendly screening (the baby-friendly screenings are often hard to attend since they conflict with school hours. If I’m off from school that day because of a holiday, then I might be able to go unless I’m going outta town. If I’m off because I’m indisposed…I’d probably be too sick to enjoy the film). For Broadway shows, I attend performances that are more catered to my needs, thanks to TDF’s Autism Theatre Initiative (I attend regular performances too, but usually I’d wait to see if ATI is planning it first. Or I’d go to Disney Live/on Ice (or any TYA show) which is usually packed with small children, so they wouldn’t really care if the audience gets noisy (besides, those shows aren’t very long, which is good because even though I love seeing shows, sometimes I get restless. Usually I can sit still for a 1-hour long act, but when I saw On the Town, the first act was 1 1/2 hours long, and at one point I was asking someone when the interval was.
    I have heard that the idea of autism-friendly performances has made its way to the UK and to Australia. I’ve heard that The Lion King will have such a performance in Perth on February 11 at 4pm. I don’t know how far away Perth is from Sydney, but I’m pretty sure they will do one in Sydney in the future. But if you can make it to this or any subsequent performances, could you please use the voice recorder app on your phone to tape the audio of the entire show? I know you’re technically not supposed to do this, but I am a collector of bootlegs and I really want to add autism-friendly performances that I have not attended to my collection. I know how this stuff works, so feel free to ask me about tips on these kinds of things, but I’d prefer if you email me privately. Thanks!

  • Reply January 6, 2016

    em

    Manly cinemas are closed.

    • Reply January 6, 2016

      Seana Smith

      Oh dear, thank you so much for letting me know!

  • Reply December 4, 2019

    Anja

    Hi just letting you know Rhodes have renovated their cinemas and no longer have the crying rooms there ?

    • Reply December 5, 2019

      Seana Smith

      Oh thank you! I haven’t been there for ages and didn’t know. Thanks for the heads up. I have taken that post down.

  • Reply December 26, 2019

    Eva

    The crying rooms have been removed at Rhodes and no babes in arms runs through the holidays

    Thought you should know!

    • Reply December 28, 2019

      Seana Smith

      Oh dear, I thought I had taken Rhodes out already… I do need to give this article a complete refresh – sorry!! Will put up a note now. Thanks for heads up.

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