Mardi Gras Film Festival
Festival director Paul Struthers notes that this year has seen an increase in the number of lesbian and transgender-themed films programmed – a welcome development
Five five-star films you must see this month
You can tell it's Academy Awards season when the cinemas are crowded with high quality flicks, all hoping to capitalise on the free publicity. These five movies are Oscar hopefuls (with one deliriously weird exception) and all of them rate the maximum five stars from Time Out critics
Guides for Sydney movie lovers
Films in cinemas now in Sydney
Movie lists you'll love
Film events in Sydney
The best cinemas in Sydney
Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace
Without doubt the grandest cinema in Sydney, Cremorne’s Art Deco picture palace is a stunning step back in time. Built in 1935 by George Kenworthy, the top theatrical architect of the period, today’s version is even glitzier than the original thanks to a $2.5-million restoration some years back by owner and local TV celeb Mike Walsh. Each of the six auditoria has its own colour scheme and decor, but the 744-seat Orpheum is the true star of the show. It even has a genuine Wurlitzer cinema organ, which rises out of a stage pit on weekend evenings complete with flashing lights and a grinning organist. Expect a mix of mainstream US, British and Australian fare, with some art-house, special presentations and the occasional cabaret show.
Ritz Cinema Randwick
With a distinctive Art Deco design restored to its former 1930s glory and an impressive sound system, the six-screen Ritz cinema is both a local landmark and an excellent venue for catching the latest mainstream releases. Signs explain the regulations – no alcohol, bare feet, smoking or skateboards – which make sense if you hit the place in the afternoon after school’s out. In the evening the place attracts a different crowd, including film geeks who seek out the Ritz for its great acoustics and old-fashioned flair. Upstairs the inimitable Bar Ritz boasts a marble bar and balcony – perfect for pre- and post-film drinks. Bus 372, 373, 376, 377.
Palace Norton Street Cinemas
Leichhardt's Palace Cinemas were fully refurbed in 2013 and now have eight auditoria, all licensed, and an impressive foyer with a lounge bar and café on site. Palace Norton Street plays host to some of the best annual film festivals such as the French, Spanish, Greek, German and Italian. It is also in close proximity to the eateries and vibrant culture of Norton Street.
Palace Verona Cinemas
Paddington’s intellectuals, gays and art-house crowds are always seen milling about the Palace Verona with glee. The four screens are on the small side, the seats are snug and the pre-show commercials... well, they tend to go on forever. But we're forgiving film lovers, especially since this oft-buzzing venue screens an expertly curated line-up of arthouse releases from name directors (Woody, the Coens, PT Anderson...), world movies, quirky Australian indies and special one-offs, like screenings of overseas stage productions and concerts. There's a licensed café, wine and espresso bar on the premises – good for a pre-movie drink, a post-movie chat or even just a day date, since you don't have to purchase a ticket to enjoy what they're pouring and brewing. And if you're a frequent moviegoer, you'll want to check out Palace's great-value membership schemes, which are more than worth the investment if you see flicks on the regular.
Named after the Australian film pioneer Charles Chauvel - of Jedda fame - this much-loved local cinema is part of the Palace cinema chain. Its proscenium arch brings true grandeur to the art of film and the staff really know their stuff. Screenings tend to be seriously arty and the place also holds Cinemateque screenings. Be sure to seek out the lovely upstairs bar. Bus 333, 352, 378, 380. Screens 2. Tickets $16.50; $9-$12.50 reductions; $8 Tue.
Upcoming film releases in Australia
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Bar Luca and Young Henrys join forces
When one of Sydney's best burger joints collaborates with a rock'n'roll beer juggernaut, you know you're in for a good time. And that's exactly what Young Henrys and Bar Luca will be doing for a whole week – a week packed full of burgers, beers and even some love song dedications. To kick off the celebrations, Bar Luca will be doing a burger pop-up at Young Henrys brewery in Newtown on Sunday February 12. They'll be doing a one-off burger, created especially for the kickass brewers, dubbed the Young Henry the Third. It'll see the much loved juicy BL patty sandwiched in with American cheese, bacon jam, YH Real Ale spiked cheese sauce, YH Natural Lager fried onions and Cloudy Cider braised pulled pork. As they were the victors of Time Out's Battle of the Burger, you know this is going to be a burger you want to try. Then they'll be switching places – Young Henrys will join Bar Luca for a week-long residence at the CBD burger bar, as well as BL Burgers on Oxford Street and the Beach Road Hotel in Bondi. On Valentine’s Day they'll be dong special 'Lovers and Loners' meal deals, beer specials and burger-love-song-dedications, and throughout the rest of the week you can enjoy plenty more Young Henrys brews and burgers. Find out more about Young Henrys and Bar Luca's pop-up.
Beer DeLuxe is now pouring Hawthorn Brewing Company
Beer DeLuxe Sydney in King Street Wharf is the home to many a fine brew – more than 150 of them all told. The two-level temple to beer has 20 beers on taps at any given moment and many more by the bottle. Right now Beer DeLuxe is heralding the arrival of Hawthorn Brewing Company’s fine Pale Ale, Amber Ale, Pilsner, Witbier, IPA and Golden Ale. Having lived overseas for many years, the team at Hawthorn Brewing tasted first hand the full diversity that exists throughout the beer world. Returning home to Hawthorn, Melbourne, they launched their first brew in 2008 and haven’t looked back. It’s just a sample of the amber goodness to be enjoyed at Beer DeLuxe all year round.
Alliance Française French Film Festival
Did you ever wonder why France’s film culture is so rich and varied and full of big-name stars? Simple: for every cinema ticket sold in France, whether for a local film or a Hollywood blockbuster, the state gets money to invest into French films. The latest fruits of this vibrant industry screen in March, spanning comedy, biopic, drama, war stories, animation and romance. They include new movies from the Dardenne Brothers, Anne Fontaine and Bertrand Tavernier, featuring stars such as Isabelle Huppert, Daniel Auteuil, Omar Sy, Audrey Tautou and many, many more. Gender equality is especially strong in the French movie world, with 17 new movies from women directors. And here’s another drawcard: the festival is running a competition this year with prizes for attendees of a trip for two to France and a trip for two to New Caledonia. Here are Time Out’s 12 picks of movies to look out for. The Alliance Française French Film Festival is set to take place at Palace Norton Street, Palace Verona, Chauvel Cinema and Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace.
Bucks parties at Munich Brauhaus
Bucks parties at Munich Brauhaus are big on fun, food and celebration. Along with live bands, DJs and loads of steins of bier, the Munich Brauhaus always has a great party atmosphere. They also offer special bucks party packages – for just $50 per person you can enjoy a round of pretzels, a stein of craft beer, a famous Munich pork knuckle and a round of schnapps shots to finish. So get your mates together and celebrate before the big day. Find out more about bucks parties at the Munich Brauhaus.