A cinephile's tour of Newcastle

Film editor Joe Holloran takes us on a brief tour of the cities cinematic hot spots.

Joe Holloran
23rd September 2019
Let’s face it, student budgets and Jägerbomb tolerance can only stretch so far. Not to worry though, because Newcastle is also a great city of culture. The Greater Newcastle area is home to seven cinemas, but today I would like to tell you about our three favourites here at the Courier.

Tyneside Cinema on Pilgrim Street.

First up is a Toon institution, the Tyneside Cinema. Located at 10 Pilgrim Street near Grey’s Monument in the city centre, this independent, BFI-supported cinema features four dedicated screening rooms, alongside spaces devoted to the teaching and training centres.

If that is not enough, the entire building is one big beautiful art deco throwback, with interiors designed by local hero Ridley Scott, no less. If it’s indie charm you want, then the Tyneside Cinema is the place for you.
While the cinema does regularly show the latest big blockbusters, it is better known for its screenings of the latest indie releases, from both the UK and abroad. Fans of classic cinema, international films and documentaries are also catered to with the cinema running festivals celebrating the works of specific directors, actors or eras.
Here’s a little tip – get there early and spend some time either in the upstairs café Tyneside Coffee Rooms, which is open til 7pm on weekdays, or, if you fancy something a bit stronger, head down to their ground floor Tyneside Bar Café and kill the time before the start of the movie which has a delicious menu of both food and drink.

Cineworld @ The Gate.

Let’s face it, we cinephiles love to go on and on about the latest flick that those who are not as cool as us haven’t even heard of. “Oh, you simply must see the latest Bulgarian documentary on soil erosion”. I get it, I’m one of those guys. But you would have to be crazy to not indulge yourself in some of the latest blockbusters during you time here at Newcastle, and for that there is only one place.
On the top floor of The Gate shopping centre on Newgate Street, just down from St. James’ Park, sits Cineworld, boasting an incredible 16 screening rooms, including the brand new 4K-HD 396-seat ‘superscreen’.
If you are feeling peckish before the movie starts, then Cineworld is perfectly located. The Gate complex houses multiple bars and restaurants. Plus of course there is no shortage of sweets and goodies on sale at the cinema itself.
Put simply, Cineworld is where to watch all the blockbusters during your time here in Newcastle.

The newly re-located Star & Shadow Cinema.

Lastly, we come to the Star & Shadow Cinema on Warwick Street, not far from us on the other side of Northumbria University’s main campus.
This volunteer-run, politically-engaged cinema and performance centre regularly showcases the latest works from underground artists in all sorts of mediums - comedy, visual art, performance art and film – from all over the world. With a reputation for political and abstract content, the Star & Shadow is a great place to meet those with likeminded ideas while enjoying thought-provoking material. While it may not show as many films as other cinemas, its choses them with great care, often showcasing those works that reflect the big issues of the day.
It is truly a throwback to the days of activist art centres, and if that’s your bag then you will have no shortage of things to experience over at the Star & Shadow.

But I hear you cry, “I am but a poor student; however shall I afford to enjoy these wonderous places?” and “How can I let others know my many, many opinions about the films I see?”. Well, we are here to help.
Each week during term time the Courier Film section has a choice of films for you to review. Come along to our weekly writers’ meetings and put your name down for the film you want to review. We pay for and organise the tickets, you just go and enjoy. That’s all there is to it.
I do hope you take the chance to enjoy as many cinematic delights as possible during your time here. Trust me, by exam time you’ll definitely need it.

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