Green Room: Cinema set to reopen, Feast on this

SA arts and culture news in brief: Reopening date revealed for historic Piccadilly Cinema, what to see at Feast Festival, Moonlight Cinema announces summer line-up for Botanic Park, exploring ‘radical practice’ in the arts, plus more.

Nov 03, 2022, updated Mar 23, 2023
An artist's impression of the renovated Piccadilly Cinema, with a replica of the original sign on top of the building.

An artist's impression of the renovated Piccadilly Cinema, with a replica of the original sign on top of the building.

Piccadilly ready for relaunch

North Adelaide’s Piccadilly Cinema is set to reopen on December 15 after extensive renovation work focussed on restoring the building’s original art deco features such as its terrazzo floor.

The historic cinema first opened its doors in the 1940s and is owned by family-run Wallis Cinema group, which says the stage-one renovations also include a replica of the original sign on top of the building, the installation of lifts, and a new, more open food and beverage area.

The Piccadilly Cinema’s food and drink area has had a revamp.

“We have worked hard to make The Piccadilly a unique venue, offering varied entertainment – from mainstream and arthouse films, retrospectives and event screenings – while also making it accessible to all our guests,” managing director Michelle Wallis said in a statement. “We look forward to welcoming you all back to this majestic building.”

The Piccadilly has been closed for around 18 months, with the reopening timed to coincide with the hotly anticipated release of the new Avatar film, Avatar: The Way of Water.

Somewhere, over the rainbow…

Kween Kong will host the Feast Festival 25th Birthday Gala. Photo: supplied

SA’s annual celebration of all things queer kicks off this weekend as Feast Festival celebrates its 25th anniversary with a smorgasbord of comedy, music, theatre, visual art and community events.

Thousands will gather for the annual Pride March through the city on Saturday, to be followed by an opening night carnival party in Victoria Square headlined by Australian Eurovision contestant Sheldon Riley, while dancer and drag star Kween Kong ­ – a finalist in this year’s series of RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under – will host a Feast Festival 25th Birthday Gala at the Adelaide Festival Centre’s Space Theatre on November 12.

“I am beyond excited to return home to celebrate such a milestone event for SA,” Kween says of the gala, which will also feature cabaret artists Libby O’Donovan and Michael Griffiths, comedy duo Jack and Annie and singer-songwriter comedian Leela Varghese. “[I’m] so thrilled to be the captain of the fun bus and to bring some fabulousness and campery to the night.”

Feast ambassador Bel Mac.

InReview asked one of Feast’s 2022 ambassadors, Belinda McKeown (aka Bel Mac), to share some of the other shows she’s most looking forward to during the month-long festival:

The Freddie Mercury Songbook (November 4):  Who can’t relate to the statement “I want to break free” at some point in their lives? Spunk, energy and a trip down memory lane – any Queen fan and music lover would be crazy to miss such an awesome show.

The Feast Comedy Debate (November 12): Everything is funnier with comedian and debate host Lori Bell. Some of the best opinionated hilarious humans will come together to debate if we actually are all on the same team… hmmm.

Nungay Night (November 19): Always a favourite on the calendar! Dress up and be entertained by some of Australia’s most talented Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performers, ranging from drag kings and queens to dancers – plus a DJ and great vibes.

Lived Visibility (November 1-30): Even with a packed schedule, you should make the time to go and have a glimpse into the minds of diverse members of the LGBTIQA+ community as they share experiences and emotions in an exhibition at U City Art Studio that will invoke feelings of familiarity or the unknown. Plus it’s free!

Patchwork Community Canvas ­– Stitching Ourselves Into History (November 19): Another great free event, inspired by the Australian AIDS quilt and presented by SAMESH, where you can add your name to a hand-stitched community canvas.

Ask a Queer Sex Worker Anything (November 18): The mind boggles – do you go along (to the Mercury Cinema) to hear what they say or do you go to see what people will ask? Either way, what a great space to gain an insight into this stigmatised industry.

Picnic in the Park (November 27): Whether the dog show is your thing, or you want to check out the new tattoo parade or soak up the tunes, Picnic in the Park has something for everyone – like a big hug.

The full 2022 Feast Festival program is online.

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Meanwhile, Feast also announced this week that Adam Gardnir has been appointed the new chair of Feast Festival 2023, taking over from Adam Gibbons. Gardnir, a former artist and current special events manager at the University of Adelaide, has previously served as a board member for Melbourne’s Midsummer Festival and was director of Brisbane’s MELT Festival.

That’s a wrap

The Adelaide Film Festival screening of Ribspreader.

Box office revenue for the 2022 Adelaide Film Festival was up 56 per cent on the last pre-pandemic festival in 2018, with organisers declaring the event’s expansion into multiple venues “a resounding success”.

Audience attendances also increased by 13 per cent compared with the last AFF in 2020.

Several award winners were announced on the festival’s closing night, with Luku Ngarra – an Indigenous-funded documentary on the history and culture of Arnhem Land, set mainly on Elcho Island – taking home the $5000 Change Award. The two audience award winners were Ribspreader (feature fiction) and The Last Daughter (feature documentary).

Under the moonlight

The Moonlight Cinema will return to Adelaide’s Botanic Park from December 1, opening its season with Bros – the film touted as the first mainstream Hollywood studio-backed rom-com featuring gay men.

The December program for the outdoor cinema was announced today and ranges from new releases such as the Whitney Houston bio-pic I Wanna Dance with Somebody, to blockbusters from earlier in the year like Top Gun: Maverick and Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis. There are also a number of retro offerings, including Love Actually, Die Hard and Home Alone.

Radical Practice

The 2022 Guildhouse Symposium will see members of South Australia’s arts sector gather at Sauerbier House at Port Noarlunga on November 12 for a day of discussions exploring the theme “Radical Practice”.

“We each have our own self-determined rules that guide us, that define our arts practice and in turn our arts community,” it says, elaborating on the theme. “Within most arts practice there is the search for radical change, socially, politically, environmentally, personally.”

Local and interstate artists including Rayleen Forester, Kate Larsen, Clem Newchurch, Lara Tilbrook and Elyas Alavi will lead panel conversations discussing topics such as the way in which they have built community, working collaboratively, and the ethos of art-making. Emerging songwriter Tilly Tjala Thomas will also give a live performance. 

For further details or to book tickets, visit the Guildhouse website.

Green Room is a regular column for InReview, providing quick news for people interested, or involved, in South Australian arts and culture.

Get in touch by emailing us at [email protected]

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