alternative cinemas to enjoy this autumn

Want something a little bit different from your cinema? We’ve got some alternatives for you right here, from movies on the beach to drive-ins and socially distanced cult screenings.


Cambridge-based Star & Mouse outdoor cinema has teamed up with Wines of Argentina to present three special nights of film and wine at one of our favourite beachside hangouts, Bison Beach Bar at Sea Lanes. Point Break has, sadly and inevitably, already sold out, but you can still grab tickets to see Bohemian Rhapsody or The Motorcycle Diaries in a fabulous beachy location. Doors open at 5.30pm, so you’ve got plenty of time to grab a deckchair and headset and get stocked up at the bar (don’t forget NHS workers can register to claim a free beer in September, paid forward by happy Bison customers). Films kick off when it gets dark, so at around 8pm. Happily, there will also be a complimentary glass of Argentine wine on arrival, as well as a great selection from some of the country’s finest producers to discover at the bar. The ever-fabulous Wood X Coal will also be cooking up a storm from their authentic asado grill. Bring extra layers for when it gets chilly, but you can always hire a hot bottle there – they really have thought of everything! 
Wednesday 23rd September – Friday 25th September, from 5.30pm; from £22.15
Bison Beach Bar at Sea Lanes, 284 Madeira Drive, Brighton BN2 1EN
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White Wall Cinema
First up, and a real BOTI fave is the brilliant White Wall Cinema. One of our lockdown heroes, they took over Wagner Hall and its outdoor garden area for a social distanced summer screen and now they’re back with the indoor autumn version. But you can still enjoy a pre-film drink in the fairylight-studded garden area. They’re very careful to maintain restricted numbers and have clear seating bubbles and sanitiser stations in place, so it feels very safe. If you’ve haven’t been to Wagner Hall yet, they have raked theatre-style seating, so you’ve got a good view wherever you sit. Film-wise, this is the one to choose if you’re after something a little bit different to the standard blockbuster fare. When it comes to cinema, these guys seriously know their stuff and only screen really great movies, whether that’s cult classics or gems you might not have heard of but will still knock your cinematic socks off. Every Monday they hold a Secret Movie Club, perfect if you can never decide what you want to see. (While you’re here, put the 10th-11th October in your diaries, that’s their Spike Lee Film Festival.) Plus, there’s a well-stocked, fairly priced bar – the Snack Nicholson – to keep you going and a fantastic film shop – bring cash! And if you’d rather the films came to you, then they’re also still running their brilliant lockdown cinema-at-home offering, Home Service. It’s in our unofficial BOTI little black book!
Mondays and Thursdays to Sundays until November, from £5
Wagner Hall, 2 Regency Road, BN1 2RU


Tulleys Drive-In Haunted Cinema
Drive-in cinemas are, understandably, having a bit of a moment right now and if you fancy a slice of that all-American experience a short drive from Brighton, then try Tulleys. Better known for their spine-tingling Shocktober extravaganzas, after a successful summer drive-in screening, they’re back with a two-screen haunted cinema version, complete with properly scary films (and some family options, too) and pre-film fire and light shows. You can watch from the ‘safety’ of your car (although we feel there are a LOT of people that get dragged out of vehicles in horror films, mwahaha) or if you’re extra brave, you can bring chairs and blankets and sit outside to the left of your car. Just watch out for the mischievous ghosts roaming the site before and after the film! If you haven’t been to a drive-in before, it’s quite a nifty set-up, the FM signal for the sound is broadcast directly to your car radio. Food-wise, you’ll be sorted too as they’ve teamed up with Bentleys Steak House for a taste of the original American diner experience – burgers, loaded fries, popcorn, the works. They’ve made it really easy, too: all you have to do is log in to the virtual diner, place your order and wait for it to be delivered to you in your car. Just one word of warning: the delivery person may not be completely human, but you’re here for the scares, right? You can check out the menu here.
Friday 25th September – Thursday 8th November, from £15/car
Tulleys Farm, Turners Hill Road, Turners Hill, Crawley, RH10 4PE

At The Drive In
And there’s even more drive-in fun to be had post summer. Touring drive-in cinema At The Drive In lands in Brighton at the end of this month, featuring a wide range of crowd-pleasers, including Mean Girls, Back To The Future, A Star is Born and Grease with pre-screening entertainment options including a silent car disco – oh yeah – and stand-up comedy. Just like the other drive-ins, cars will be parked to meet social distancing guidelines and there’s American diner-style food on offer too. But they’re going the extra mile (oak) here: yep, waiters will be skating your snacks straight to your car.
30th September to 4th October; £35/car
Mile Oak Farm, Mile Oak Road, Portslade, Brighton BN41 2RF