If you're young bored and looking for trouble...then you're probably just like me!
Published August 13th 2011
Tribal Theatre, George St Brisbane
If you're anything like myself, then the latest car thieving exploits from Vin Diesel or the emotionally inept and soul-sucking rom-com from Jennifer Aniston, has you conjuring up mental pictures of choking on your popcorn, throwing your twelve dollar cup of cola flavoured syrup at an unassuming 15 year old behind the ticket booth, and shouting in protest at yet another over priced and under developed attempt at cinema. Its generally around thirty of your hard earned clams, paid towards some vomit inducing Hollywood junker that leaves you wondering why you'd even bothered. Add to all of this a 'candy bar', requiring a small private loan for multiple purchases, the recent ridiculous instalment of allocated seating, that leaves you sitting directly beside some weird smelly dude going solo (when there's only ten of you in the theatre!) and you've got an incredibly bland and excessively expensive cinematic experience.
Luckily, there is such a place in Brisbane's CBD to escape the trappings of contemporary - conventional cinema. A place where local, independent, art house, and international films are not only shown but celebrated. A place where the lonely ten dollar note, sitting at the bottom of your wallet, will actually get you a ticket to the show; it's a place where you don't need to take out a second mortgage on your house to purchase a Gold Class ticket, just so you can enjoy a beer at the movies - they'll let you take your own! I'm talking about a little piece of Brisbane cinematic history, mere minutes from the Queen St Mall, called Tribal Theatre.
Set now in the old Dendy Theatre on George St in Brisbane's CBD, the original site was home to Brisbane's first permanent picture theatre (Lyceum) in 1906. Since then its changed hands and swapped names numerous times but when Tribal Travel backpackers took over the site in early 2010, a new direction in the program was mapped out for its reopening, to bring back and redevelop traditional theatre flavours. Tribal Theatre has since played host to cult films and classics, plus they re-run some of your absolute favourites like: Pulp Fiction, Alien, and even the quintessential 80's high school drama, The Breakfast Club.
There are two theatres rooms in Tribal, both are about a quarter the size of your standard contemporary cinema, a front foyer with a number of old lounges to laze upon whilst you wait for your movie to start, and a small ticket booth/ candy bar where you can pick up your popcorn and house your alcoholic bevies, should you desire a drink during the film ($5 corkage per bottle of wine or six pack of beer). Tickets are extremely cheep at only $10 for adults, with concession and children prices at $8. There are a number cinema clubs and event managers that operate movie nights at Tribal (Grindhouse 101, Arthouse 101) for your serious cinema aficionados, and the entire vibe from Tribal is relaxed and friendly. Its the kind of place that's a little secret for people in the know, to get together with friends and enjoy a good flick.
Its all about doing away with the fancy frills of your generic cinema houses: drink holders, recliner lounges, three course meals, and mega screens; they're nice little creature comforts but they're expensive and poor substitutes for a good feature film. More than anything, Tribal Theatre is simply a great opportunity to experience cinema the way it used to be. So Grab some buddies, grab some drinks, and go watch a classic. I thoroughly recommend it.