Get out of the house on the third Wednesday evening of each month and enjoy films on the big screen with us!

The Drill Hall Film 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 subscriber for just $60 and gain entry to 11 films/year (or $50 if you’re a Drill Hall Theatre Company associate member). Casual guest rates cost $10/film.

Renewals due in July.

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


Wednesday 17th July @ 7pm
Happy-Go-Lucky (2008)

Teacher Poppy Cross (Sally Hawkins) is an eternal optimist who lives with her more cynical friend Zoe. Deciding she wants to learn to drive, she starts taking lessons from Scott, a tense and downbeat instructor who believes Poppy’s levity reflects a lack of seriousness. Although they clash, Poppy is not deterred from her goal. Meanwhile, she starts dating Tim, a social worker who came to her school to help a child.

This film is so closely tuned to the pulse of communal life, to the rhythms of how people work, play and struggle together, that it captures the larger picture along with the smaller. Like Poppy, the bright focus of this expansive, moving film, Mike Leigh isn’t one to go it alone. Played gloriously by Sally Hawkins – a gurgling, burbling stream of gasps, giggles and words – Poppy keeps moving forward and dancing and jumping and laughing and nodding her head as if she were agreeing not just with this or that friend but also with life itself. She’s altogether charming, perhaps even a little maddening – much depends on whether you wear rose-coloured glasses – recognisably human and every inch a calculated work of art.

Among its multitude of awards, Sally Hawkins won many best actress awards including the 2009 Golden Globe award.


Wednesday 21st August @ 7pm
His Girl Friday (1940)

Walter Burns, the hard-boiled editor for Chicago’s The Morning Post learns his ex-wife and former star reporter, Hildegard “Hildy” Johnson, is about to marry an insurance man and settle down as a housewife in upstate New York. Walter, determined to sabotage these plans, entices a reluctant Hildy to cover one last story: the upcoming execution of Earl Williams, a shy bookkeeper convicted of murdering a policeman.

Anchored by stellar performances from Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell, this fast and furious farce is possibly the definitive screwball comedy blending two formulas popular in Hollywood movies of the late 1930s: scathing satire on political corruption and romantic screwball comedy. Nothing is allowed to interfere with the dizzying pace set by the actors, who compete to interrupt each other. The talk crackles with wit; the overlapping dialogue of seasoned journalists and mayoral henchmen is smart, real, and mean.

Like the 1928 stage play The Front Page, by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur (on which it is based), the film looks plain and feels tight, even claustrophobic, a feeling director Howard Hawks achieved here at his best, in this battle of the sexes, allowing for plenty of humiliation and triumph on both sides.


Wednesday 18th September @ 7pm
Local Hero (1983)

Bill Forsyth put Scottish cinema on the map with this delightfully eccentric culture-clash comedy. Riffing on popular representations of Scottish life and folklore, Local Hero follows the Texas oil executive Mac (Peter Riegert), who is dispatched by his crackpot boss (Burt Lancaster) to the remote seaside village of Ferness in Scotland with orders to buy out the town and develop the region for an oil refinery. He is assisted in this venture by a young Scott named Danny (Peter Capaldi). But as business mixes with pleasure, Mac finds himself enchanted by both the picturesque community and its oddball citizens—and Texas starts to feel awfully far away. Packed with a near nonstop stream of droll one-liners and deadpan gags, this enchanting cult hit finds Forsyth surveying the idiosyncrasies of small-town life with considerable satirical verve, arriving at a sly commentary on conservation, corporate greed, and the legacies we leave behind.

The enduring affection and adulation for Local Hero stem from the way the film testifies, thematically and stylistically, to the impressive scale and subtlety of Forsyth’s filmmaking talent. While the work is deeply rooted both in Scottish culture and in filmic representations of Scotland, it also has a globally relevant environmental agenda. It is laugh-out-loud funny in its seemingly endless and effortless profusion of sight, sound, and dialogue gags but signs off with one of cinema’s saddest images of loneliness and longing. Acutely topical today, the movie is also deliberately mythical in its exploration of an archetypal dilemma: Can humankind simultaneously cultivate and conserve the natural world, and even if we can, are we truly willing to?

The film won the 1984 BAFTA for Best Direction for Bill Forsyth.

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.