Posted by Tom Campbell
07. Nov, 2010
Since the early 1950’s the cinematic phenomenon known as the Midnight Movie – the screening of offbeat exploitation films at midnight, has been presented at cinemas and drive-ins around the world. However it wasn’t until Hammer Films’ The Curse of Frankenstein in 1957 that the trend began to really take off, causing a spate of midnight presentations that sold out every night for months; with many fans returning on a weekly basis.
By the early 1970’s distributors, recognizing the cult potential, began releasing films at midnight to take advantage of the growing market. Driven by an emerging audience who demanded repeated viewings and enjoyed the social aspects of these cinematic ‘events’, midnight movie screenings soon became a major money-spinner for the film industry.
Alas, the introduction of VHS and the video store in the 1980’s spelled the end of the all-to-brief era, with the midnight movie slowly but surely dropped from cinema schedules until only a handful of cinemas were left keeping the cult flame burning.
Cult cinema fans will be overjoyed to know that The Palace Cinema Westgarth is bringing back the midnight movie. Cult Vault is a new weekly film program featuring an assortment of eclectic and classic cult cinema screening every Friday night at midnight from 29th October until 25th February. The weekly event will highlight the surreal edge of cinema including the maverick, the bizarre, crazy and just plain kooky.
The night was launched with the Hammer Halloween special event, screening the 1968 classic Dracula Has Risen From The Grave starring Christopher Lee as the prince of Darkness. Every Friday night throughout summer be prepared for choice cult cuts of celluloid championing everything from menacing monsters to rampaging robots, musical mods and everything in-between.
Featuring the best midnight movies on offer Cult Vault promises to be 24 frames a second of pure bliss for fright fans and film nuts. Come out at the witching hour and experience these classics the way they were always intended.
For tickets visit: www.palacecinemas.com.au/events/cultvaultatpalacewestgarth
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