Return of big films to ‘catapult’ Moonlight Cinema into an exciting summer, says Guy Burbidge

Mariam Cheik-Hussein
By Mariam Cheik-Hussein | 9 June 2021

Event Moonlight Cinema is heading into one of its most exciting lineup of films after a challenging 2020, and Val Morgan Cinema managing director Guy Burbidge says it offers brands a unique opportunity to get back in touch with consumers.

More than 120,000 guests visited the outdoor venues around Australia over the summer. The post-lockdown audience saw 37% of visitors attend more than once each season, and 35% of visitors attending for the first time.

Speaking to AdNews, Burbidge says Moonlight fills the experience gap left by other entertainment platforms.

“Cinema is culturally ingrained in Australia, about 96% of Australians really love going to the cinema and have it as one of their favorite entertainment options,” Burbidge says.

“The landscape has changed with COVID, but what we've seen from our research around the rebound is that there isn't an Australian that wants to spend more time at home.

“Our research around what we call The Great Escape points to media fatigue with the established choices. So, lack of depth and content, excitement and immersion, but that's what we provide in spades so we're really excited about that future and we think that cinema will have a consistent part to play in the landscape. From July our content is back to the levels that we would expect, and probably even better which will catapult us into a really exciting summer.”

After the pandemic paused most new productions in Hollywood, big films such as Top Gun Maverick, Black Widow, Ghostbusters Afterlife, Cruella, and A Quiet Place 2 will roll out later this year.

But in addition to the films, Moonlight Cinema will also boost the service it provides to visitors, such as a new menu that lets attendees order from their bean bed, as well as the return of its Western Sydney venue.


Garnier at Moonlight Cinema

Event Hospitality entertainment director Luke Mackey says the experience Moonlight Cinema offers is fundamental to the business, with 35% of tickets sold last season being for premium experiences.

“We look to extend branded opportunities to partners during the 90-minute dwell time that is a critical part of the Moonlight Cinema experience,” Mackey says.

“Social time prior to the movie is highly valued by Moonlight visitors – this is a key engagement window for partners and one of the advantages of working with Moonlight.

“For example, Garnier's 'Green Beauty' initiative was a commitment to radically reduce the beauty brand's environmental impact by 2025. Garnier's sponsorship encompassed multiple digital and physical touchpoints across the visitor journey, with highlights including a Green Beauty cart activation and free Garnier product samples to try at home. The partnership was a perfect example of Moonlight Cinema audience alignment and maximum engagement through an enhanced visitor experience.”

Burbidge echoes the importance of providing consumers with experiences, particularly after a quiet 2020.

“It represents a really interesting opportunity to get brand in hand and get consumers really touching and feeling your brand,” he says.

Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop us a line at

Sign up to the AdNews newsletter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for breaking stories and campaigns throughout the day.

comments powered by Disqus