Dublin's Midnight Movie Cinema Club
Summer of 1984
‘So Hollywood Babylon describes itself as a ‘Midnight Movie’ club but what the hell is a ‘midnight movie’?’
Midnight movies mean something more than just movies at midnight, it is a throwback to a time when movies became cult classics through late-night screenings in dingy cinemas. For a long time this was the only way to see weird and wonderful movies like Night of the Living Dead, El Topo or Freaks, genre movies that sat firmly outside the mainstream. It was through word of mouth that these movies gained their reputations, and cheap midnight screenings where they would play for weeks on end…
Hollywood Babylon updates that tradition for a new generation introducing a whole new series of cult classics to enthusiastic audiences. For our first run of screenings many of the movies were well known and well loved by audiences (Harold and Maude, The Warriors, Crank 2) while others were rarely screened and needed a leap of faith (Wet Hot American Summer, Ladies And Gentleman The Fabulous Stains, The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai Across the Eight Dimension!) but regardless audiences kept coming back again and again and word of mouth spread.
So ‘midnight movies’ describes a certain type of movie as much as it does the time we watch them. For us we use the term ‘disreputable’ is a useful catch-all but really we just show movies that are best enjoyed in company (the rowdier the better!), after midnight and with beer!
The Poster Exhibition
As well as being a cinema event Hollywood Babylon also works with designers and artists on re-imagined film posters. We do a limited run of screen-printed posters to tie in with each event, all culminating in a final exhibition. If you’re interested in taking part contact: email@example.com
OCTOBER 13th: Back to School
The Greatest High School Movie of All Time™. Infinitely re-watchable, endlessly quotable, awesome songs, basically an all-time favourite at Hollywood Babylon and a great way to kick things off. Come early for drinks and treats. Come dressed up to this, or any Hollywood Babylon event for that matter, and we’ll definitely give you a prize. It’ll be very!
NOVEMBER 17th: Metal Night ‘VHS The Metal Years’
+ main feature ‘The Most Metal Movie of All Time’ (Title TBC)
Hollywood Babylon will be rocking out with a night devoted to all things metal. We currently have an international group of experts (true metal-heads of the highest order) working round the clock to decide “the most metal movie of all time”*. In addition however we will have ‘VHS The Metal Years -a full hour of our favourite clips, trailers, short films drawn from Heavy Metal’s VHS years -a formidable period for the genre. So let your hair down, put on your skinny jeans and high-tops, throw your original cassette copy of ‘Reign in Blood’ into your walkman and join us…
DECEMBER 15th: Black Christmas Party
Deck the halls with blood and guts and join Hollywood Babylon for our Christmas party with the classic yuletide slasher Black Christmas. Come celebrate with us and have eggnog and mince pies in the bar before the screening. First 25 people get a copy of our ‘Really Wrong Christmas Songs’ mixtape.
JANUARY 19th: Freaky Futures
There are few cinematic visions of the future as bizarre, ridiculous, misguided and downright hilarious as, sci-fi musical The Apple. Ridiculous and ridiculously entertaining this movie should not be missed on the big screen.
FEBRUARY 16th: Prom Night Party
‘Mystery Movie TBC’
Hollywood Babylon has by now seen as many great prom movies, or at least great prom scenes in movies, as it has had hot dinners. As usual feel free to get on touch and pester us with ideas but we’re gonna’ keep this one a mystery until the curtains open. Come early for the ‘prom night photo-booth’ and get a keep-sake of your special night…
MARCH 16th: Neon Eighties
We were trying to find the most quintessentially eighties movie of all time and this outlandish tale of motorcycling drug-dealing ninjas might be it. Kick-ass, martial arts synth-rock band, Dragon Sound, are not just gonna’ sit back and watch their city sink into the sewer. When not performing their hit song “Against the Ninja”, the band are kicking and chopping their way through the world’s smelliest underbelly. Prepare to be blown away by a roundhouse wreck-wave of crime-crushing justice.
About Hollywood Babylon
‘For your viewing pleasure...’
Midnight movies mean something more than just movies at midnight and Hollywood Babylon is a throwback to a time in the 1950s when movies became cult classics through late-night screenings in what were often dingy ‘dollar cinemas’. Movies like The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Freaks and Night Of The Living Dead built their reputations through these kinds of screenings and Dublin had its own history in this regard with Rocky Horror playing for decades in The Classic and those now legendary Stop Making Sense screenings in The Ambassador. Hollywood Babylon updates that tradition for a new generation, introducing a whole new series of cult classics to enthusiastic audiences hungry for something different. There has been an explosion in creative repertory programming in the last few years with Secret Cinema, Cinefamily and The Alamo Drafthouse all offering far more than is available in our multiplex. For Hollywood Babylon’s first run of screenings many of the movies we showed were familiar classics (Harold and Maude, The Warriors, Crank2) while others required a leap of faith (Wet Hot American Summer, Ladies and Gentleman The Fabulous Stains, The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai across the Eight Dimension!) but we were consistently surprised by the responses from our audiences.
What makes a ‘midnight movie’ then? Hollywood Babylon’s adopted credo is ‘Celebrating the disreputable!’ but really a midnight movie can be anything ...from eighties teen movies to whacked-out horror flicks, creature features to sci-fi musicals. In many instances these movies will be far from perfect, existing on the furthest edges of respectability. Basically these are movies that are at their best when seen after midnight, in a crowd and with beer. Of course with Hollywood Babylon it is also always more than just movies, with specially selected trailers, our favourite ‘supercuts’, the occasional ‘Super8 Digest’ screening, handmade badges, screen-printed posters, mixtapes, cigarette girls (or guys) and much more besides. Hollywood Babylon aims for a complete movie-going experience where we feel like part of a cinema community once again, even if that community is united primarily through its love of hammy Nicolas Cage performances.
For our upcoming series Hollywood Babylon takes its inspiration from VHS focusing on the films, trailers, music and questionable fashion choices that helped define that era. The up-coming programme consists of a series of monthly screenings contained under the banner ‘VHStival’. Each screening begins with drinks in the bar, music from Hollywood Babylon DJs/other guests before we kick off with Trailer Trash (a selection of ridiculous VHS era trailers) and finally the main feature. As usual we will be unveiling a new series of posters, badges, curated mixtapes, etc. Up-coming featured screenings include the subversive 80’s high-school classic Heathers, the ultimate free-house movie Risky Business (part of our ‘Pyjama Party’ event), the psychedelic throw-back Beyond The Black Rainbow, the movie that put Nicholas Winding Refn (Drive) on the map Valhalla Rising and many more.
Look forward to more mayhem, more make-up, more monsters, more gruesome murders and more elaborately choreographed dance sequences than ever before...
Our current screenings are taking place in the majestic Lighthouse Cinema, Smithfield