Want more than just a typical cinema outing?

I love the cinema. To say cinemas were my second homes this summer would only be exaggerating a little. I love the whole experience; the food, the trailers, even the other people. Sometimes though, the overpriced ticket, often stale popcorn and what seems like a sea of sequels or cookie-cutter blockbusters can really put me off; not to mention the inappropriate laugher/crier I always seem to end up beside.

So, naturally, I needed to find some alternatives for times like this or go without my fix, which wasn’t really an option.

First is Sing Along Cinema, basically heaven for those of us who love to sing and dance along with musical movies. Every month in the Sugar Club they show a classic music filled movie (think Grease or Dirty Dancing) on the big screen with karaoke subtitles. The crowd are encouraged by the host to sing along, dance in the aisles and to dress in character.

There’s a full bar and all screenings are followed by a ‘Prom Night’ so it could make a great alternative to your regular club night out. Boys are often in short supply at this event so perhaps this one’s better for a girl’s night out. Leave any uptight friends at home though, they won’t appreciate the silliness and by the end of the night you won’t appreciate them.

For the times when the Nubar or Spar have drained my money, The Odeon’s movie club is a great option. Every Thursday at 8pm they provide the armchairs, the big screen and the classic movie for the huge sum of zero Euros. You need to book in advance and places fill up super fast so ringing early is a must. Every month is themed and October is, predictably, all about the horrors.  The next movie is The Omen on the 13th with The Shining and The Thing the following weeks.

Hollywood Babylon, a midnight movie night, is also purse friendlier than your standard cinema outing. Every second Saturday two cult movies are shown in Smithfield’s Block T, one at about 10pm and one at midnight. The nights are BYOB so it’s another substitute for ending up in Coppers yet again. This is one ending soon so try it quickly before you miss your chance.

Not helpful for me but those unlucky enough to hail from Cork can go to Movie Junction, the drive in cinema. All the benefits of a normal cinema, the food and the latest films, but you don’t have to deal with the noises of the crowd around you and of course, there’s the added novelty of the car. It’s €16 per car regardless of the amount of people so you can cram in as many as you want.  A packed car probably won’t make for a very comfortable viewing though.

It’s also always a good idea to keep an eye on Screen and the Irish Film Institute’s (IFI) too. Screen’s Halloween schedule is excellent. I mean, who can say no to Ghostbusters? And IFI has regular special seasons and events as well as showing some of the major movies shown in regular cinemas. Seeing Labyrinth and Donnie Darko there for free was definitely one of the cinematic highlights of my summer.

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