Abandoned Haymarket theatre hosts new festival

As part of a revitalisation of Sydney’s nightlife an abandoned Haymarket cinema will host a new festival called Pleasures Playhouse.

Harbour City Cinema, which has been closed for 15 years, will be home to a six-week arts and entertainment festival with Sydney’s vibiest party starters and artists from September 22.

The festival will see a different show each night, with a line-up of curated nights from artists including BBGB Worldwide, No Zu, Nai Palm, Alex Lahey, Broods, Haiku Hands, Monster Children, Carolina Gasolina, Donny Benet, Diola, Bare Necessities, underground sex and body positivity parties like ‘Leak Your Own Show Us Ya Tips, Community events like BYPASS, Heaps
Gay, Athletica, Fur Ball, Queer Power Point, NLV Presents PLACE + sleazy cabaret shows with a full live house band, “Send Noods Cinema” – Arthouse movies on Tuesdays with Natty wines from P&V & Noodles from Biang Biang, dining experiences celebrating local Chinatown restaurants.

Guest curators such as Julian Hamilton (The Presets) and Maurice Terzini, plus yum cha pop ups, record nights and more are on the cards.

Festival founder Kat Dopper (creator of Heaps Gay & Summer Camp Festival Founder) said “This is one of the most exciting projects I’ve been able to work on, literally a dream. Collaborating with all my faves to take over an unused space in Sydney to bring together some of the best of our arts scene to create a new cultural
destination that promotes artistic excellence.

“After the loss of over 180 venues since lock outs in 2015, its vital that we create new spaces for the next generation of artists to create and connect with audiences.”

Pleasures Playhouse will also celebrate the local restaurants of Haymarket, aligning with various venues to offer food in the space. Ticket holders will be able to experience cool art, eat dumplings, and stay for a late-night gig with performance, pole dancers and rappers, jazz or film.

For the drinks aspect, Dopper has collaborated with Enmore and Paddington’s P&V Merchants, Mike Bennie to curate a natural wine offering. Rosebery’s, Archie Rose Distilling Co will also have a hand in the beverages, with standalone bars within the theatre.

The festival is proudly funded by the NSW Government through the CBDs Revitalisation Program to bring people back into the city and reignite Sydney’s and in particular Dixon Street’s nightlife.

Michael Rodrigues, 24-Hour Economy Commissioner said: “I am delighted that the NSW Government’s CBDs Revitalisation Program is supporting the Pleasures Playhouse @ Harbour City Cinema.

“The Pleasures Playhouse at Harbour City Cinema is an example of great business collaboration. Via the creative transformation of the Harbour City Cinema and Dixon Mall, this event will bring together some of the best arts, music and food and beverage offer from across the precinct, and draw audiences back to a space that has been dormant for 15 years.”

For further information and ticket sign ups, visit

Solotel launches Sydney All Nighter

Success! You're on the list.

Categories: Lifestyle