Tucked away in the city and surrounding suburbs are lots of stylish cocktail lounges, pumping clubs, and traditional pubs offering live music, beer gardens and live sporting telecasts.
Many of Canberra’s best cocktail bars, clubs and pubs can be found around Garema Place and nearby City Walk and in the historic Sydney and Melbourne Buildings. There are plenty of bars in the fashionable inner city suburbs of Kingston and Manuka, and in Dickson’s Chinatown area.
Canberra offers many licensed clubs which are perfect for relaxing with a drink, enjoying a good meal, or trying your luck on the poker machines. Many are sporting clubs which are great for catching a live telecast. You can also listen to live music or see a comedy performance at many of the clubs.
Many Canberra bars and nightspots offer live music, ranging from cover bands to DJs. Touring local and interstate acts perform at larger venues such as the AIS Arena and the Royal Theatre, part of the National Convention Centre.
The National Folk Festival takes place in Canberra each Easter with more than 500 performers, while the National Multicultural Festival presents many international musical performances each February. And because Canberra has the youngest population in Australia, top bands from around Australia and the world visit regularly.
See Canberra Events for more information on concerts and music festivals.
Movie cinemas can be found in the city, Manuka, Woden, Tuggeranong and Belconnen. ScreenSound Australia — the National Screen and Sound Archive — and the Canberra Museum and Gallery also regularly show classic movies, while the Electric Shadows cinema in the city specialises in art house films.
In the summer, catch outdoor movies in Garema Place and in the parks on the lake edge. The annual Tropfest short film festival, televised live from Sydney, takes place in February in Commonwealth Place.
Canberra has a thriving theatrical society. The Canberra Repertory Society has been running since 1932. Many Canberrans enjoy the wide range of musical and dramatic shows available at the Canberra Theatre on a regular basis from interstate productions to the Australian Ballet. Locally produced professional theatre at venues like the Street Theatre add to the flavour of the Capitals culture.