I’m always looking for things to do midweek, as why wait for the weekend to have a bit of fun? One excellent midweek option is to check out the cinemas in Brisbane, and one that offers dinner and drinks in uber comfort is Red Hill Five Star Cinemas. Here the cinemas are Gold Class, there are arcade games, beers on tap and it even has accessibility options for those that find stairs impossible or challenging.
I thought it was a perfect opportunity to bond with my 12-year-old, as he’s not interested in restaurants/cafes and we agreed to watch Spiderman: Across the Spider-Verse. I loved the visuals in the first one so I was keen for this follow-up with dinner, drinks and piles of dessert. Boy’s night out!
I’ve been to Red Hill Five Star Cinemas before, so the atmosphere was no surprise. Compared to other cinemas in Brisbane, it’s a pretty chic little cinema with its converted warehouse look, as the ceiling is exposed, it has brick walls covered in graffiti and concrete floors with wooden tables. There are also old-school arcade games such as Mortal Combat and Space Invaders and there’s a self serv lolly section by the ice-cream fridge. It’s definitely a fun place to hang on a Wednesday night.
Red Hill Five Star Cinemas also has some decent dinner options, which I was excited about. Their in-house menu includes toasties and assorted fried food such as arancini, fish and chips and spring rolls. However, we went for the wood-fired pizzas, which are actually from Colle Rosso, a restaurant located down the road. The caveat to this is that it can take a long time, as we waited 40 minutes before getting our pizza.
The pizza was nice, I must say, but it was a tad expensive compared to other cinemas in Brisbane for a meal, at $27. They only make $2 on the price as it’s $25 straight from the restaurant. It also gets delivered into your cinema If you desire, so the pizza option is not bad in all. I relaxed, had a drink or two and chatted with my son while we waited. However, if you’re in a hurry, order something else or have it delivered to your cinema seat.
Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic Drinks
Non-alcoholic drinks are the usual soft drink and water options, while the alcoholic options include cocktails, rose, white and red wine, and beer on tap. I was pretty excited to kick off the night with a beer on tap and tried a pint of the Valley Hops Pale Ale. I have to say, this was uber-salty and one of the most unpleasant beers I’ve had in a while. I washed it down with a pinot noir and felt much better. The beer selection is constantly rotating so perhaps ask for a taste before you commit.
Sweet selection – Cinemas in Brisbane
The sweet selection here was pretty damn good actually. I like that it was market-style, where you could fill up a cup from containers and you pay by cup size. The selection of lollies here is better than other cinemas in Brisbane I’ve experienced, and the ice cream fridge nearby has a decent selection too. I’ve always liked a choc top ice cream and the vanilla bean choc tops here are splendiferous. I was looking to indulge and indulge we did!
Comfort – Gold Class
Interesting that with many films here you’ll have no choice but to sit in a Gold Class cinema. I actually think that’s a good thing, as an enticing alternative to sitting at home in our increasingly luxurious home cinemas is eating, lazing and being waited upon in the cinema. Otherwise, we might not do it! Cinemas are culturally cool too, so this encourages them to live on I believe. The price is also not bad, at $23 for an adult and $17 for a child.
So yes, you can recline, drink alcohol and have your food and drinks brought to you. Another thing that’s grand about this cinema – and cinemas in Brisbane in general – is that midweek you’ll have the place virtually to yourself. In any case, we were uber-comfortable and being a tall guy I had plenty of legroom, which I appreciated. Having the side table and drink space was also good as Olin tends to spread his food out and I wasn’t put out here at all.
One thing about the Red Hill Five Star cinemas that’s certainly cool – better than other cinemas in Brisbane I’ve experienced – is that they’ve put a lift by the stairs. Now you’ll have to confirm this, but from memory (and watching my video at the end), the cinemas are also wheelchair friendly.
History – A Family Business
Inside, there’s a TV screen that tells you Red Hill Cinemas has been screening movies since 1930. Well, that’s not entirely correct. A building was erected on this location in the 1920s, known as Red Hill Picture Props, which was to become the State Theatre in the 1940s. In 1964, this ceased and the building was converted into a live music menu, which was then turned into a skate park. The skate park burned down on boxing day in 2002.
The building sat derelict and was covered in graffiti, which was so good it became a landmark in Brisbane. It remained this way until 2019, when two brothers Stephen and Peter Sourris decided to expand their Five Star Cinema brand with an edition in Red Hill. They’ve also got cinemas in Graceville, Newfarm and the city, as well as a drive-in in Yatala.
The Yatala drive-in was built by Peter and Stephen’s grandfather, also a Peter Sourris. The brother’s father also ran eight drive-in cinemas, so independent cinemas in Brisbane have essentially been delivered by three generations of the Sourris family. Red Hill Five Star Cinema owner Peter Sourris says, “it’s in the blood”.
Reading Cinema Court Case
Unlike other cinemas in Brisbane, this one had a tumultuous beginning, as global cinema chain Reading Cinemas took the brothers and the Brisbane City Council to court (as the council had already approved the plans). This angered a lot of local residents, particularly as the two brothers were to restore the building with the local graffiti intact, which is what they did after the case was expelled (see above).
Red Hill Cinemas Extras
Red Hill Five Star Cinemas also show vintage cult favourites such as Stanley Kubrick’s 1975 classic, Barry Lyndon. Additionally, they do ‘Groups & Hire’ – which caters to fundraising groups and social events – and the cinemas have a ‘Star Club’, which costs $5 for the year and gives you almost the same off each ticket price. Super worth it if you’re visiting often!
In all, Red Hill Five Star Cinemas is unlike other cinemas in Brisbane I’ve experienced. It’s more comfortable and caters to a diverse customer base with its accessibility options. It’s also got retro arcade games, in-cinema service and delish vanilla bean choc top ice creams.
What more could you ask for!
Check out Red Hill Five Star Cinemas’ website for more info.