What kind of person are you? Standard, Feature length, Epic or a Double Feature? You many think we are talking about movies, but no, it’s the wine. This is just one of the many things which are different about this movie theatre in the clouds. Welcome to Palace Central in Chippendale.
There isn’t much about this spot which fits the norm thanks to Damien Mulvihill, creative director at DesignOffice. Three stories up inside Central Park Mall, this is an adult playground! Just follow the signs; left, for the Beer Hall or right, for tickets and wine bar. Movie theatres are like casinos – you never know if it’s night or day; but not here with ceiling to floor windows and low slung sofas with sweeping views overlooking the park.
Simply order a bottle of Shaw & Smith, a cheese board, add friends and you can watch Sydney life unfold above and below you. High chairs, bar tables and even sunken booths are positioned so that if prime seating has been taken, your views aren’t.
Across the main atrium there is a change of scene. There are not many beer halls offering choices of over 40 malted, hopped, sour and floral brews on tap and in the bottle. The tapped kegs are tantalisingly on display behind glass windows like a prize pair of Christian Louboutins.
You can choose from one of the ten standard cinemas, but the Palace Platinum experience is our go-to, with a separate concierge, bar and lounge area all softly furnished with dusky pink drapes, plants and banquet seating. The cinema is intimate and exclusive with pairs of reclining seats, lots of elbow room, adjustable lighting and a note pad to scribble down your tummy’s desires.
In our screening of Pacific Rim, steamed baskets from Din Tai Fung of shrimp and pork Shai Mai, vegetarian Jiao Zi jostle for room with a delicious Sushizilla tempura prawn roll topped with slices of strawberry. Grilled Atlantic Salmon and a tasty rocket and beetroot salad from Ribs & Burgers takes the dining options up a notch.
The real surprise is the end. As the lights go up, the drapes on one side of the wall pull back to reveal the city. It’s the final act of a new experience in cinemas, one which not only puts a spotlight on Hollywood but Sydney itself.
Palace Central Cinemas
Level 3, Central Park Mall, 28 Broadway Chippendale