From the time-honoured classics to the latest edge-of-your-seat thriller, movie nights have been a main feature in most of our social calendars since the 3D glasses were still red and blue (feel old yet?). Much as we love the classic popcorn-and-postmix combo, though, there’s something a little special about adding a touch of luxury to your ticket.
Whether you’re looking to elevate your next date night, spoil yourself for an upcoming premiere, or just want the option to pair your popcorn with a cheeky glass of bubbles, Brisbane’s impressive melange of boutique cinemas has you covered.
Grab some popcorn, team. You’ll actually want to sit through the previews at these spots.
Ditch the hundreds of rustling chip packets at your run-of-the-mill cinema for the OG intimate movie experience. Cinebar has long since earned its spot on the Brissie Walk of Fame for its small-scale theatres, cosy red armchairs, and offerings brought straight to your seat. Set up your order before the previews to enjoy a movie-length rollout of cheese plates, buttery popcorn, and wok-fried dishes straight from downstairs neighbour, Thai Terrace. Oh, and if there’s a better romcom pairing than a hot choccy with a cheeky shot of Baileys, we don’t want to hear it.
Red Hill Cinemas
The (red) hills are alive with the sound of your own reclining armchair. Giving new life to the area’s old skate arena, Red Hill Cinemas is a bit like your classic Tarantino flick: edgy on the outside; plenty to unpack within. Four Gold Room theatres invite guests to their own leather recliners to await orders of tap beer, house wines and wood-fired pizzas from cinema neighbours Colle Rosso.
New Farm Cinemas
While New Farm’s heritage-listed theatre hails from the silent film era, you’ll find nothing less than ultra-modern luxuries within. Past its vintage memorabilia, New Farm Cinemas revamps the classic popcorn-and-Coke cinema experience with state-of-the-art theatres, service-to-seat Gold Rooms, and a sprawling menu of signature cocktails, nibbles, and wood-fired pizza.
Elizabeth Picture Theatre
Once you’ve climbed the spiral staircase of the heritage-listed Tara House, the royal treatment begins. Worlds apart from the shopping centre cinemas of our youth (why were the floors always sticky?), Elizabeth Picture Theatre guides you into a foyer complete with ballroom ceilings and stained-glass windows. The crowning touch is undoubtedly the theatre’s Royal Rooms, where you can pair your next date night flick with a glass of bubbles and plates like pumpkin, spinach and sweet potato fritters.
Palace James Street
It doesn’t get much bougier than handcrafted chairs imported from Spain. The glittering Palace James Street fronts up an impressive mix of blockbusters, international hits, film festivals, and arty flicks you won’t find elsewhere. Potentially more impressive than its lineup, though, are the three luxurious ‘upgrade’ auditoriums, decked out with plush recliners tilted to give you the perfect sight line for the movie (or, let’s be real, the hand-delivered cheese platter).
Cineplex Hawthorne Deluxe
Drop the remote: your streaming services ain’t got nothing on this. Cineplex Hawthorne Deluxe has taken all the boons of the service-to-seat cinema experience and slapped an extra-affordable price tag on it. With a menu that deserves the Oscar for Best Performance (sorry, Leo), you’ll kick back with karaage chicken bao, pumpkin arancini, and loaded sundaes layered with hot fudge and whipped cream.
You might be heading to the silver screen, but Event Cinemas Chermside plates up a Gold Class experience like no other. The recently-refurbished theatre here is dressed to impress on every level, from your first steps into the glittering bar to the cinema’s full-body reclining chairs and luxurious a la carte menu. Curated banquets, wood-fired Neapolitan style pizzas, and ‘movie length’ cocktails (weighing in at three standard drinks each) are just some of the offerings here. Before we roll credits, though, it’s worth mentioning the space’s recently-announced ‘Event Boutique’ cinema—a unique experience that currently only exists in a few spots nationwide. Stay tuned.
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Image credit: Elizabeth Street Picture Theatre