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 intimate candle-lit films to drive-ins and socially distanced cult screenings.
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
Donuts Cinema Club
How about some cinema by candlelight, complete with free doughnuts? Can’t go wrong, right? Club night Donuts is taking over the ground floor at Patterns with its new socially distanced Cinema Club with screenings of cults films and must-see classics. It’s kicking off the film fun on Thursday with a real banger – Brazilian film City of God. It’s worth it for the soundtrack alone. There will be music before and after each screening and, of course, the bar will be open, too…
Thursday 22nd October, 7pm; £8 for a table of four
10 Marine Parade, Kemptown, Brighton BN2 1TL
Intimate beachfront venue Electric Arcade served as the perfect warm-up or post-event bar during The Warren’s beach season this summer. And now that we’re in autumn, it’s still going strong with indoor and outdoor seating, banging cocktails, late-night comedy and more. But they’ve also got an intimate cinema, the Little Screen! It’s basically your own personal cinema where you can watch a film from the comfort of a squidgy sofa in your bubble of two, four or six people. They’re showing a selection of moving LGBT+ shorts from Cardiff’s Iris Prize 2020 LGBT+ Film Festival programme on certain dates or you can choose from their range of classic films.
Various dates and times; from £20 per person
Beneath Brighton Zip, Lower Promenade, Madeira Drive, Brighton BN2 1TB