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Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace, Cremorne

by Kerri (follow)
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The splendour of the Hayden Orpheum isn't done justice with photos

Even the outside has art deco touches

The Hayden Orpheum is not just any ordinary movie cinema complex. Located on Military Road in Cremorne, the Orpheum is a completely art deco experience offering a touch of affordable luxury for Sydney movie lovers.

Opulent is the perfect word for describing this cinema complex

You'll feel like royalty ascending the stairs

The Hayden Orpheum doesn't just have a few art deco touches here and there to give it atmosphere. From the moment you step inside, you are enveloped in a world of golden lights, coloured glass, velvet materials, and the kind of décor that makes you think you've stepped back in time. I can clearly remember my first visit there, when I actually gasped out loud at the splendour of it. Photos simply don't do it justice.

Some great bargains are to be found at the candy bar

It's not just about lovely surrounds at the Hayden Orpheum though. All the current release movies are played in immaculately fitted out cinemas. The Orpheum also specialises in putting on movie events that you won't find at the more mainstream cinemas. Double features are often played on Sundays, costing only $10 (or $5 for students). I Heart Retro is a regular feature where a double bill of movies selected from the 50's through to the 90's are played (costing about $16). You'll regularly find screenings of ballet and opera productions from around the world, as well as opportunities to dress up in costumes and win prizes. There's even a 'Worst Film Ever' event for those that love truly bad movies.

The theme extends to inside all six cinemas

There's still so much more though. Student Mondays mean that all 2D movies that play after 5:00pm on Monday are only $5 for students. Or you can do what I've done and join the email club, which sends you a weekly update on specials and upcoming movies, as well as the chance to sometimes win free tickets. Members of the email club have the opportunity to see one or two films (selected by Orpheum staff) for only $9.50 at any time on Mondays.

Signed photographs of Hollywood personalities line the walls

Another unusual element that is particularly enjoyed by Orpheum patrons is the wurlitzer. Located in the largest of their cinemas, the wurlitzer rises out of the floor with a musician already sitting at it. Audience members are then treated to a musical show that you aren't likely to get anywhere else, but will remind some people of the way the movie experience used to be.

An upstairs bar and lounge makes the perfect area to wait for your movie to begin

Holidays are always a special time at the Orpheum as well. Every Valentine's Day there's a special romantic movie played, with tickets including two glasses of champagne and a red rose to give to your loved one. Or try Christmas, when events can get truly special. My favourite was a Christmas a couple of years ago when It's a Wonderful Life was played, with live Christmas carols and a Christmas-themed Tom and Jerry cartoon preceding it. Be warned though, these sorts of events do sell out, because they are very popular.

Even the smallest detail is art deco perfection

Like any decent movie cinemas, the Orpheum also has its candy bar. Fitted out to blend in the with art deco surrounds, they offer everything from decently priced popcorn and soft drink combos, to Serendipity brand ice creams. The Hayden Orpheum is also fully licensed, with both downstairs and upstairs bars, meaning that you can bring your drink into the cinema with you if you haven't finished before your movie starts.

The image that has become an icon of the Hayden Orpheum

I've also found that the number of advertisements and previews at the Hayden Orpheum isn't as bad as what you get at many other places. And for those you do have to sit through, it's not as bad when you're surrounded by such beautiful décor as what you find in each of the six cinemas.

Even in the lesser used areas there are beautiful things to look at

The staff at the Orpheum are very friendly, and all impeccably dressed in an old-world style that adds to the classy feel. They all seem quite passionate about what they do, even participating in some of the events by singing. It's almost a family feel, which is quite surprising (but nice) in such glamourous surrounds.

Make sure to look at the details on the ceiling

Rating: 10/10

Where: 380 Military Road, Cremorne.
Why: To have a fancy night out without a huge price tag
Cost: Tickets can start as low as $5.00. Regular price is $20 adult, $16.50 pensioners/students, $14.50 children, and $13.00 seniors. Check out the website for discount Tuesdays and other special prices.
When: Try Student Mondays, Discount Tuesday, Sunday double features or Monday email club specials for the cheapest tickets around.

Good for kids: Yes, often adults can see kids movies for the price of a child, so it can be a good option for a family outing.

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