Milk Bar’s Guide to Melbourne’s Indie Film Nights

Posted by Jenn Winterbine


Going to the movies can sometimes leave us unsatisfied. There’s often that confronting R-rated film that makes us wish there was a bar inside, or an arthouse flick that ends with more questions than answers.

The independent film nights that happen regularly around Melbourne are a great way to watch films in a relaxed atmosphere. More importantly, they offer film-goers the rare opportunity to discuss films with each other — a welcome change from making the frantic rush for the nearest exit as soon as the credits roll.

And they also serve booze. Here are some of our favourites:

The Melbourne Horror Film Society – Bar 303, 303 High St, Northcote
The MHFS screens some of the best — and worst — horror films ever made. The retro couches and dim lighting at Bar 303 provide the perfect environment to curl up with a nice glass of wine and wind down from a hard day’s work with fellow horror fanatics. Let’s face it; nothing can be more relaxing than the sights and sounds of serial killers, vampire orgies or the zombie apocalypse. MHFS screens at 7.30pm on the last Tuesday of every month — it’s a good idea to check their website to double check dates and film selections: melbournehorrorfilmsociety.com

Bar Open – 317 Brunswick St, Fitzroy
The venerable Bar Open hosts a regular film, Screen Sect, every Monday at 7pm. Screen Sect is a film society devoted to overlooked, forgotten or hard-to-find cult classics that rarely screen at your average commercial cinema. So you can schmooze with fellow film buffs over a beer or two and finally meet people who share your taste for obscure movies! To check out the program visit baropen.com.au/film-night

LOOP – 23 Meyers Place, Melbourne
Melbourne’s LOOP art space and bar is a studio-style venue that was established especially for emerging filmmakers, musicians and designers to showcase their art. LOOP hosts a bunch of events including Don’t You Have Docs?, a series of non-fiction short films that share common themes, on the third Monday of each month. LOOP also offers artists the opportunity to meet and bounce ideas off each other. For more info see looponline.com.au.

Long Play – 318 St. Georges Rd, Fitzroy North
Converted shop-front bar Long Play used to be known as Glitch until recently. Thankfully the new owners have kept the cute cinema out back that often screens arthouse and classic films on weekends. Film selections and times can be found by signing up for their mailing list at longplay.net.au.

Kent Street – 201 Smith St, Collingwood
If you’d prefer to take things in at your own leisure, Kent Street has an old school movie projector and sometimes screens a mixed bag of vintage film shorts, news reels and music videos. Bars like this are the perfect place to take a first date, or to drop in for a relaxed drink if you’re in a cinematic mood.

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