Get out of the house and enjoy films on the big screen with us!

The Drill Hall Film Theatre Society screens classic films at an affordable price in comfortable tiered seating in our air-conditioned theatre. Grab a delicious snack and beverage from the bar, and be part of our lively film discussions after each show.

Become a Film Society member for $50 and gain entry to 11 films/year (or $40 if you’re already a Drill Theatre member). Casual guest rates cost $10/film.

Contact Sonia on 0406 090 260 or email on [email protected] for more information or to become a member.


Wednesday 17th April @ 7pm
Breaking Away (1979)

Steve Tesich’s first screenplay, Breaking Away, which won him the Academy Award in 1980, is peopled with a group of lovable, idiosyncratic characters played by an equally likeable and engaging cast. Dave, Mike, Cyril, and Moocher are all local working class new high school graduates in Bloomington, Indiana. This summer is to be their period of transition.

Dave dreams of joining the Italian bicycle team; he learns Italian phrases, listens to Italian music, and even passes himself off as an Italian exchange student when he falls in love with a girl at the nearby University. Mike, the high school football star, takes out his lack-of-future frustrations upon the snobby university students. Cyril, whose father has no faith in him, hides his depression behind a facade of humour. And Moocher makes up for his short stature by building up his muscles and making a serious commitment to his girlfriend.

After an on-campus row, our four townies — in Bloomington known as “cutters” — are allowed to participate in the university’s Little 500 Bicycle Race. It is their chance to prove to everyone — and mostly themselves — that they are winners. But Breaking Away is not only about friendship and competition, it’s also a touching tale of youthful initiation into adulthood. Perhaps the most poignant sub-theme of the movie is the transformation of the relationship between Dave and his dad, a used car salesman. Their movement from misunderstanding to mutual respect is handled with light humour and sensitive emotional shadings.

Director Peter Yates knows how to get the most out of the story’s action sequences but is also wise enough to put the real accent on character development. He has drawn excellent performances from Dennis Christopher, Dennis Quaid, Daniel Stern and Jackie Earle Haley. Paul Dooley is marvellous as Dave’s father.

Breaking Away is one of the best ever cinematic depictions of the adolescent experience. It accurately conveys the pain, confusion, frustration, and exhilaration of this transitional period. After empathising with the four cutters’ depression and pariah status in the first part of the film, we can share in their glory at the end. In so doing, we tap into that kind of transcendent moment we all hope to experience at least once in our lives. And it feels good!


Wednesday 15th May @ 7pm
The Angels Share (2012)

“The Angels’ Share” is slang for the roughly 2 percent of malt whisky that evaporates while it ages in a cask.

This rare comedy from Ken Loach, the grand old man of British social realism, is a hearty paean to the pleasures of that whisky and the olfactory sophistication of connoisseurs who use the same vocabulary as wine tasters to evoke its fragrances.

The movie, with a screenplay by Ken’s longtime collaborator Paul Laverty, imagines that possession of a talented nose for those scents could be a key to escaping Glasgow’s violent underclass.

The lad with the golden nose is Robbie, a hot-headed hooligan sentenced to 300 hours of “community payback” after a senseless attack on another young man. He barely avoids prison when he convinces a judge that he will change his ways because his girlfriend is pregnant. Robbie glimpses a way out of poverty when Harry, the tough, kindly supervisor of his work detail and a discreet tippler, takes the group members to a distillery where they observe the whisky-making process. The movie briefly turns into what feels like a documentary tutorial on high-end liquor production.

But at this point, the movie abruptly transforms into a fanciful caper comedy in which Robbie and three collaborators from his work team don kilts and pose as Highlanders calling themselves the Carntyne Malt Whisky Club. Their goal is to steal liquor from a recently discovered cask of Malt Mill, named for a long-shuttered distillery and scheduled to be auctioned off for a fortune.

Now the film transforms into an amiable, if far-fetched, heist comedy in which the antics of Robbie and his cohorts verge on farce. In the ranks of Ken Loach’s output, The Angels’ Share, which won the Jury Prize at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, stands somewhere in the middle of a consistently strong body of work.

Watching it is like receiving a hard slap in the face from someone who expects you to laugh it off, even though the sting lingers.


Wednesday 19th June @ 7pm
Temple Grandin (2010)

Based on the writings by Temple Grandin this film is an engaging portrait of her early life as an autistic young woman who became, through timely mentoring and sheer force of will, one of America’s most remarkable success stories. With a tour de force performance by Claire Danes in the title role, the film chronicles her early beginnings as a child diagnosed with autism; her turbulent growth and development during her school years; and the enduring support she received from her mother, her aunt and her science teacher. Against all odds, Temple eventually transitioned into a highly-functional, esteemed inventor in the cattle industry, which she revolutionised with her scientific research and designs. This visually inventive film offers stunning insights into her world, taking us inside her mind with a series of snapshot images that trace her self-perceptions and journey from childhood through young adulthood to the beginning of her career, and beyond. Winner of multiple awards including the Golden Globe for Claire Danes.

Temple’s is a tale that could easily be played up for drama, intrigue and weepy reconciliations, but director Mick Jackson’s narrative is loyal to Temple Grandin’s credibility: emotions are secondary to tangible results. And the result is a movie that is funny, instructive and also intangibly charming.

The Drill Hall Film Society was formed in 2018 and is a project of The Drill Hall Theatre Company.

The film society is registered with the Australian Film Societies Federation.