An Evening at the Galileo Open Air Cinema

This is the sixth season for Cape Town’s beloved Galileo cinema, a series of outdoor screening events, which runs from October 2017 to April 2018. It comprises of a giant inflatable screen, a classic movie (usually very re-watchable), a grassy lawn where roughly 300 people are able to picnic and an artisanal food market. Movies are traditionally viewed in the dark, which means that Galileo screenings tend to take place after sunset around 7:30pm. 

Being close to magic hour, the organisers have arranged beautiful venues across the Cape Metropole, including regular spots such as Bloemendal Wine Estate on Tuesdays, Kirstenbosch Gardens on Wednesdays, the V&A Waterfront on Thursday and a rotation of wonderful venues on a Friday. Much like a drive-in for picnic baskets, moviegoers get a chance to watch some of their favourite films under the stars, against some of Cape Town’s most beautiful backdrops. Weather plays an important factor in terms of enjoyment levels but luckily for the Galileo’s opening night, there was little to no wind at Bloemendal Wine Estate after a gusty day across the city. 

Nestled among several vineyards and wine estates, just off the M13 towards Durbanville, lies the serene Bloemendal Estate, which takes over as the new Tuesday night venue. The movie to officially kick things off was the hilarious Crazy, Stupid, Love, an American romantic comedy starring Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore and Emma Stone. The Galileo’s official season movie schedule includes some silver screen classics, feel good flicks and documentaries.

The Galileo has continued where it left off from last season, retaining a very similar format from start to finish. The early part of the evening is reserved to find a seat, get comfortable, relax and grab some food from the market if you haven’t brought your own. Drinks are allowed with some exceptions relating to alcohol on wine estates. The second phase centres on the big screen as a series of forthcoming attraction trailers, adverts and announcements follow some fun movie trivia games. The third phase is for actual movie watching, where you can lean against your backrest with a blanket and just enjoy the movie. On most nights, tickets start from R89 and range to VIP tickets at R175, depending on your add-on requirements. 

Some differences this year include: a new sponsor in Coca-Cola, a front of house snuggle area for couples to lie down on more comfortable mattresses, made to order picnic packs and a QR code loyalty programme whereby you can earn a free ticket for every six movies watched during a season. It also seems as though there’s been an improvement in terms of sound projection.

All in all, it’s a professional, well-organised and stylishly casual affair that is worth repeating… and I’m not just saying that because I’m their official movie critic again this year! If you find yourself in or around Cape Town and fancy the idea of chilling with your buddies before settling in for a great movie against some of Cape Town’s most iconic venues, look no further than this darling cinema event for all ages. Book Tickets