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Cult Film Clubs in Manchester

BY: John Stansfield | 24 Nov 2015

As the movie industry is so eager to tell us, piracy is ruining cinema! The ease with which people can download content online and watch in the comfort of their own home is driving the paying masses in doors rather than out into the meccas of cinematic glory dotted around the country. Though someone tinsel town continues to make a pretty penny as people flock to the communal viewing emporiums to get their thrills. This love of actually going out to catch a flick can also be quantified in the amount of people that flock to showings of films they could have watched at home for the past decade or two. The Printwork’s Odeon has it’s Flashback series and The Cornerhouse often hosts revivals of classics to great applause. A few avid film watchers have taken it a step further and often present works of ‘genius’ to a baying (and paying) crowd, we had a look at the best Manchester has to offer when it comes to cult film nights.

Cultivate at Joshua Brooks

One for the buffest of film buffs. A more avant garde night of cinematic revelry in the basement of Joshua Brooks Cultivate offers a double bill of high brow works from the most obscure of auteurs. Michael Haneke, Park Chan-Wook and Alejandro Jodorowsky have all had the Cultivate treatment, and they always like to add in a special drink or foodstuff to accompany the entertainment (absinthe was fittingly provided to view Jodorowsky’s Holy Mountain). A weekly affair Cultivate is there to help you bulk up your film knowledge for the lowest of prices (it’s free).


Every Sunday, free entry.

Optic Film Screenings

Fully immersive cinematic experiences have really taken off in the last few years perhaps reaching a pinnacle (and nadir) with the opening (and cancelling) of Back to the Future from Secret Cinema and their recreation of 1955 Hill Valley. Though the budgets are slightly lowly and the films are certainly more obscure Optic Screenings likes to marry the location and theme of the movies they are showing. At Halloween they held a showing of Pet Sematary in St Michael’s Church with some pumpkin flavoured beer and showed dark German expressionist classic The Golem in the basement of hop house Beermoth accompanied by dark German beer.

Various dates.

R.A.D. Film Screenings

A fitting abbreviation of Retro and Dangerous R.A.D. screenings are arguably more fun and popcorn based the two listed above, but that doesn’t mean they don’t take cinema just as serious. Showing double bills that are a mite more accessible they take over Gorilla to overload your sense with their radness. Christmas saw a one two festive punch of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and Jingle All The Way, whereas Halloween had them presenting Beetlejuice and Hocus Pocus. Perhaps not the first films that would spring to mind but a most welcoming pairing that puts the emphasis on fun. They’ve also shown Turtles 1 & 2, so there really is no accounting for taste.

Gorilla, various dates usually Sunday. 


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John Wins Again
BY: John Stansfield