The Harbour City Twin Cinema in Chinatown will open to the public for the first time in 15 years this month under the name of Pleasures Playhouse, a pop-up arts and entertainment venue and festival. Spearheaded by Kat Dopper, creator of Heaps Gay, it’ll span music, film, food, body-positivity parties, cabaret, and more.

Every night for six weeks a different event will happen in the space. Expect venue takeovers curated by artists including Nai Palm, Alex Lahey, Broods, Donny Benet and Carolina Gasolina, as well as parties curated by Heaps Gay, Monster Children and BBGB Worldwide. Take to the dance floor for nights dedicated to emo music and Charli XCX, or head along to community events such as Fur Ball and Queer Powerpoint, and cabaret shows. Other guest curators will include Icebergs’ restaurateur Maurice Terzini and The Presets’ Julian Hamilton.

Every Tuesday, the Send Noods Cinema will screen arthouse flicks, including David Lynch’s Wild at Heart, heist film Set It Off and doco Madonna: Truth or Dare. The audience can feast on noodles from Biang Biang and enjoy wines from P&V as they watch. Pleasures Playhouse will also celebrate Chinatown – which has struggled to recover from the pandemic – with dining experiences from local restaurants, and yum cha pop-ups. And nods to the cinema’s history as a hotbed for Chinese film will see bathrooms hung with Chinese movie posters, and films projected on walls.

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That’s not all: Archie Rose Distilling Co will have bars throughout the theatre, and more events and pop-ups are set to be announced in the coming week. And tickets are accessibly priced: no ticket will cost more than $30 and many events will be free.

“After the loss of over 180 venues since lockouts in 2015, it’s vital that we create new spaces for the next generation of artists to create and connect with audiences,” said Dopper in a statement. The event has been funded by the state government’s CBD Revitalisation Program, which is geared towards bringing urban centres in NSW back to life.

Pleasures Playhouse will run from September 22 to October 31. Tickets on sale at 10am on September 8.

pleasuresplayhouse.com.au