This one brings together some of our favourite things: arcade games, gin cocktails and a good cause – in a theatre. Belvoir St Theatre in Surry Hills has transformed its Downstairs Theatre into a pop-up bar and retro pinball parlour, in conjunction with their December coming-of-age comedy Girl Asleep. From December 2, you can head there for arcade games, retro and rare pinball machines, an original Nintendo games console, and a Tiki Bar serving $6 Coopers beers and Poor Toms gin cocktails. It’s called the Bumper Bar.
What’s the catch? There is no real catch. While there is a cover charge of $10 (for all-night play), after you’ve watched the video below we reckon you’ll agree that it’s worth your donation – because it’s going towards tickets so that school kids who couldn’t otherwise afford it can see live theatre.
Yup: your $10 goes to Belvoir’s Arts Access Program, which provides free theatre tickets to high school kids who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford them. Below, you can see what happened when 20 drama students from Shoalhaven High School – most of whom had never seen a live theatre show – travelled the 3 hours to Sydney to see Leah Purcell’s Indigenous re-imagining of Henry Lawson’s bush story The Drover’s Wife at Belvoir, through their Arts Access Program.
Back to those games: true pinball nerds will be making pilgrimages (seriously) to play the rare 1989 game Black Knight 2000, hoping to unlock its ultimate ‘Wizard Mode’ level; and The Machine: Bride of Pin-Bot, from 1991, which apparently is so sexy it needs a ‘modesty’ setting (Belvoir will not be enabling that, we hear).
There are also old-school arcade and table-shop machines, loaded with Donkey Kong, Space Invaders, PacMan, Frogger, 1942 and more; plus a classic NES with Super Mario and Sega Mega Drive with Donkey Kong.
Bumper Bar is open at Belvoir St Theatre Tue-Fri 5.30pm-10.30pm; Sat 1.30pm-10.30pm; Sun 3pm-8pm. $10.
Girl Asleep runs Dec 2-24 at Belvoir.