Scalarama, the unofficial month of cinema: Film in unusual venues

Jon Whiteley
Still from martial arts fight

We pick out our highlights of Manchester’s Scalarama programme – from contemporary schlock to martial arts epics.

This September, Scalarama is coming to Manchester, with screens popping up all over the city. What started as a month-long festival of cult cinema in London has grown over the years to take in the whole of the UK – and even some international locations, with temporary cinemas appearing in Europe, Stateside and Africa.

There’s plenty to see at all kinds of unusual venues across the city: Oxford Road gallery the Whitworth is playing host to early martial arts epic Dragon Inn. Released originally in 1967, this is a rare public screening following a fresh restoration for last year’s Cannes Film Festival and is an absolute must-see for cinephiles.

The Whitworth is playing host to early martial arts epic Dragon Inn

Away from high art and high ceilings, nautical-themed basement bar Hold Fast is hosting one of the schlockiest screenings in Manchester, in the shape of 1989 gore-fest Death Spa. It’s also one of the festival’s few free screenings. Northern Quarter cocktail joint Apotheca brings home some more contemporary schlock with the UK premiere of creature feature Mutantis.

On the artsier side, the University of Salford’s Digital Performance Lab is holding I Love the Nightlife; a full evening of queer cinema including director Q&As and a networking breaks. The basement of Princess Street’s Joshua Brooks screens a series of arthouse double bills throughout the month and contemporary underground cinema gets a look-in at Affleck’s micro-theatre 3MT, which holds a night of indie shorts on 30 September.

One of the more conventional venues is HOME, heir to the late Cornerhouse’s indie cinema throne. The team here will be screening jazz documentary Ornette: Made in America on 19 September. So if you’ve got a taste for cult, horror or oddball film you’d do well to seek out these clandestine cinemas this Autumn.

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Things to do right now

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Simple Unisex Jacket / Full Day Workshop
Activity 19 January 2019, from £75

Simple Unisex Jacket / Full Day Workshop

Everyman Rock 'n' Roll panto The Snow Queen
Families 24 November 2018–19 January 2019, from £15.00

Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto: The Snow Queen at Liverpool Everyman

Cheese Making at Food Sorcery
Activity 19–20 January 2019, from £100

Cheese Making at Food Sorcery

Mandy Barker: Hong Kong Soup at CFCCA Manchester
Exhibitions 12 October 2018–20 January 2019, FREE

Mandy Barker: Hong Kong Soup at CFCCA

Charwei Tsai: Bulaubulau at CFCCA
Exhibitions 12 October 2018–20 January 2019, FREE

Charwei Tsai: Bulaubulau at CFCCA

ReFrame at Manchester Art Gallery
Exhibitions 20 October 2018–20 January 2019, FREE

ReFrame at Manchester Art Gallery

Cinema 7 December 2018–20 January 2019, from £5

Slapstick Film Season at HOME

HOME at Christmas
Festivals 13 December 2017–20 January 2019,

HOME at Christmas

PUSH Festival 2019 at HOME
Festivals 11–26 January 2019,

PUSH Festival 2019 at HOME

LIQUID CRYSTAL DISPLAY at Site Gallery
Exhibitions 29 September 2018–27 January 2019, FREE

LIQUID CRYSTAL DISPLAY at Site Gallery

Craft Beer Tour Around Manchester
Food and Drink 1 November 2018–1 February 2019, from £30

Craft Beer Tour Around Manchester

Exhibitions 12 January–1 February 2019, FREE

Motion Sickness at STOCK Gallery