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.

Culture Guides

Cinema

We advise booking early this month as cinemas fill up with brand new award winners and offbeat classics.

Phoebe Davies: Points of Rupture at Site Gallery in Sheffield

Exhibitions

Art and women’s wrestling, Ancient Akkadian gravesites and invented artefacts – check out this month’s pick of exhibitions from across the north.

Half term fun - Young girl sat next to the tiger as part of the The Tiger who came to tea and the adventures of mog the forgetful cat exhibition

Families

Check out our top picks for Families this month. Whether it’s art, music, theatre, science, crafts or insects (!) you’re after, we’ve got you covered…

Poet and performer Kate Tempest.

Literature

From Helen Fielding to Hilary Mantel, the literati hard-hitters are in town as Manchester Literature Festival and UNESCO City of Literature turn up the gas.

Music

Lost in the middle distance between Christmas and spring, this funny old time of year has a saving grace: So. Many. Gigs.

Theatre in Manchester

Theatre

Stage adaptations of cult film classics, award-winning verbatim performance and charming slapstick. You’ll find all this and more in our guide to the best theatre in Manchester and the North.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

We preview the standout classical music events and venues in Manchester.

Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

It’s time to find the best restaurants for the weeks ahead. Here’s our guide to the best Food and Drink in Manchester and the North

Tours and Activities

Expect thrills, informative discussion, politically charged tours and wobbly towns in this month’s guide of Tours and Activities.