The delivery of Adelaide Cinematheque at the Mercury keeps alive faith in cinema as a cultural screen capable of rewarding filmmakers that take risks. It also builds audiences able to appreciate work with complex historical contexts.
The MRC is able to efficiently link production with exhibition through its support of filmmaking initiatives (such as the Screen Australia funded Raw Nerve) and short films.
Arthouse Cinemas in Adelaide
The Capri Theatre is a heritage listed arthouse cinema in the historic Adelaide suburb of Semaphore, South Australia. It is a not-for-profit organisation, operated by a community of volunteers. Profits from ticket sales are reinvested back into the cinema, the Theatre Organ Society’s unique world class theatre pipe organ, and a variety of other community projects. The cinema also hosts a diverse range of independent films and events.
In a year that has seen many great Australian films tank at the box office, it’s worth remembering that some of them were very much worth seeing. Films like Adam, the Casablanca-set drama about a pregnant single woman, and documentary The Painter and the Thief have won accolades, while the powerful Western High Ground is currently on the big screen in regional and rural cinemas.
This kind of programming ethos helps keep faith alive in cinema as an art form deserving appreciation of context and history, and builds audiences capable of appreciating challenging product. It is a vitally important part of the MRC’s mission and has helped it develop partnerships with Flinders University (program notes) and the Elder Conservatory.
The Mercury’s ability to program flexibly and make links with production initiatives is unique in the Australian film industry. It is able to grow audiences in a way that supports the development of a robust local screen culture and is well-placed to continue its role as a key servicer for Australian screen product in the future.
A movie theatre that specializes in showing classic films, midnight movies and art house films is called a revival cinema. These theatres often have a nostalgic 1920’s feel to them and they may offer candy bars and jaffas. They also have state of the art screens and sound systems. They can be found all over the world. Some of them specialize in 12- and 24-hour marathons.
The Capri Theatre is a not-for-profit cinema that is run by volunteers. It is heritage listed and houses a unique world class theatre pipe organ. The profits from the cinema go back into the upkeep of the building and the organ. This is a great way to support local film makers and see the latest releases.
In the current climate of COVID-19 lockdowns, reduced audience capacity and delayed and limited theatrical release of Australian films, a local not-for-profit is stepping into the breach by offering a diverse range of films in an intimate venue. Its program includes Cannes Film Festival Un Certain Regard winner The Climb, Sundance World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award-winner Charlatan and award-winning local documentary Descent.
The Mercury Cinema is a screen venue operated by the Media Resource Centre (MRC) to enhance and develop screen culture in South Australia. It is the only city cinema that operates with an explicit aim to further audio-visual policy goals. The MRC receives an ARC grant of $20,000 per year to manage the Adelaide Cinematheque, which delivers short seasons of work by Australian and international directors, as well as developing and sustaining curatorial skills in cinema.
The Mercury Cinema is a small art house cinema that offers cheap movies and beer. It is located in the heart of the city and is a great place to watch a movie with friends. It also serves great food and drinks. It is a bit hidden and not well known but if you are looking for a fun night out this is the place to go.
The MRC’s curated screen program at the Mercury, Adelaide Cinematheque, keeps alive faith in cinema as an art form deserving appreciation of context and history, and builds loyal audiences for a range of challenging product. By operating as a film society with a commitment from audiences to attend more than one session, either through a pass of sixteen films or a half-yearly or yearly subscription, the MRC establishes a public face for its business and is able to market other product exhibited at the venue.
The MRC’s ability to efficiently link production and exhibition through the Mercury Cinema allows it to take on challenging projects that would be rejected by commercial screens. Recent screenings of the MRC’s own production initiatives (Raw Nerve, The Company) and of films funded by other sources (Screen Australia, Helpmann Academy and Feast) have taken strong box office. The upcoming release of the MRC’s documentary I Can See Queerly Now will be the largest locally premiered work in the Mercury’s history.
The Mercury’s new Adelaide Cinematheque program has been designed to satisfy South Australia’s cinema buffs with a range of rarely seen film masterpieces. Its affordable multipasses let you commit to as little as four sessions for $40. Its programming includes the likes of Orlando (September 6), a biopic of a transgender artist who lived for 400 years, and a retrospective of actress Isabella Rosellini’s screen roles. It also includes a director’s cut of David Lynch’s classic Blue Velvet, which will have viewers glued to their seats.
The MRC believes that Adelaide Cinematheque can help reclaim the Mercury’s role as a cultural screen and bring audiences back to theatres with outstanding films that they are unlikely to see anywhere else. It can also assist with building a culture of filmmaking excellence through the delivery of a diverse range of approaches, styles and techniques. This programming will also reinforce the value of cinema as a medium that requires the support of audiences willing to take risks and challenge the status quo.
The MRC is currently seeking additional funding to further develop its cinema curatorial skills and build on the success of the Melbourne International Film Festival screenings at the Mercury. In the future it wants to seek an agreement with Screen Australia that would allow it to tour the Mercury’s program of Australian features around the country.