As October comes to a close for another year, there's one night of the month that I look forward to more than any other. A night where people can come together to enjoy a common interest. A night where excessive amounts of sweets are devoured. A night that ends with people looking ghoulish and otherworldly. No, it's not Halloween. It's the annual Tyneside Cinema Cult Classic All-Nighter.

For the past few years, the Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle has been host to an event that celebrates the absolute best and the absolute worst of beloved cult films. Not unlike a music festival, the night houses numerous different movies projected at different times over its 4 in-house screens. From 10pm until 8 in the morning, 'classics' such as Batman & Robin and The Room grace the Classic Stalls, The Electra, The Roxy, and The Gallery screens. With tickets purchased for all 4 films at the ridiculously low price of £1 each, myself and a group of friends waited nervously in the cinema bar for the start of our first film at 11pm, Faster Pussycat Kill Kill. As my friend picked up a last minute vodka and coke for moral support, we headed up to the cinema's smallest screen, The Gallery.

Entering the intimate screen of The Gallery there was an odd sense of dread as to what we had gotten ourselves into. Faster Pussycat Kill Kill was not our original film of choice; we had planned on seeing The Room, which had sold out. We had then planned on seeing Back to the Future, which, of course, had also sold out. Damned by our own lack of foresight, the only choices we had left for this wave of films were The Big Lebowski or Faster Pussycat Kill Kill. We decided to live a little dangerously (as dangerously as choosing films gets, anyway). Having little knowledge of the movie beforehand we were understandably cautious as to whether this '60s exploitation film would be campy fun or obnoxiously offensive. In a way, it was kind of both. Both ridiculously incompetent yet full of charm, Faster Pussycat Kill Kill had enough distinctly '60s allure to keep it constantly engaging. Unlike many of its contemporaries, Faster Pussycat was never boring. Even if not for all the right reasons, the audience was always engaged, laughing and cheering throughout. It certainly wasn't Citizen Kane, but then, not everything has to be.

Warmed up with a lovable piece of exploitation trash and with no time to spare, we left The Gallery and rushed straight to The Electra, the Tyneside Cinema's biggest screen, to catch the 1am showing of James Cameron's Aliens. By now we all know how well-crafted the action set-pieces in Aliens are, but until I saw it in the cinema, I didn't realise just how intense the film could be. The rising suspense in scenes like Ripley and Newt's battle with a facehugger or the first assault from the xenomorphs is masterfully handled. The whole movie has a creeping atmosphere that's genuinely uncomfortably scary. The first hour in particular is drenched with dread and fear; with every passing moment the Marines spend on the derelict colony station the tension continues to rack up to a boiling point. With its legacy of shifting focus from the original and the obvious connotations that come with 'A James Cameron film' we've come to forget that the Alien franchise is ostensibly a horror series at heart. And a good one at that.

After a short, tiring break, we made ourselves comfortable for what was to be the obvious highlight of the night, Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive. There were worries, however, rumours floating around that some of us may not make it through the entirety of Drive. Exhaustion was kicking at our door, and we were only halfway through the night. These worries vanished as soon as the lights dimmed and Kavinsky's Nightcall echoed through the cinema stalls in the early hours of the morning. Even at the ridiculous time of 4am, Drive was one of the most arresting and engaging pieces of cinema I have ever seen in my life. Every element of the film improves wholeheartedly when seen in a theatre. The gunshots are deafening and shockingly powerful. The music is transient and mystifying. The cinematography oh so beautifully composed. There's no real debate about it - this is how Drive was meant to be seen.

Coming out of Drive the whole group seemed content. The evening had peaked and there was no way of topping the cinematic experience we had just shared. But the night wasn't over yet, and of course, we still had one film to go. One film to truly test our mettle. Batman & Robin was our final trial, and oh, what a trial it was. We entered the Gallery at around 6 in the morning; at least, I think it was 6. By this point "time" had become a concept not everyone could grasp. We cracked before the film had even started proper, being subjected to the same trailers that had proceeded every other film until now had finally become unbearable. There's only so many times you can sit through the newest trailer for The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies without sleep before you hate every frame of it.

Eventually, Batman & Robin started up, and it's just as bad as you remember. From the truly woeful script to the absolutely horrendous performances - and of course the bat nipples – at some point it stops being so-bad-it's-funny and just leaves you feeling numb. But until that numbing arrived, laugh we did at the ridiculous bombastic set-pieces the film shoved in our face. My favourite being a tie between finding out the batsuit has built-in ice skates and watching Batman and Robin surf down to Earth after jumping from a rocket that has just exploded in outer-space. It's a very funny film. But as I scrunched in my seat, a broken shell of a man, questioning every single one of my life choices that had resulted in me being in a cinema at 6 in the morning watching Batman & Robin, I looked over to my friend who was crying with laughter. I tried to understand what had tickled him so badly. "The puns", was the only thing I could make out. "The puns, man." I realised the night had officially broken us. It had taken over 7 hours and half of Batman & Robin, but it had beaten us.

But sitting in the cinema, bathed the glow of Arnold Schwarzenegger actively ruining his career, I realised there wasn't any other place I'd rather be. The Tyneside Cinema Cult Classic All-Nighter isn't about the sum of its parts. It's not necessarily about the individual films themselves, as entertaining as they are. The event instead is a wonderful appreciation of cinema in general, be it the good or the bad. An appreciation of the only medium that can give us not only something as wonderful as Drive's breathtaking elevator kiss, but also something as ridiculously campy as George Clooney dressed as an ice-skating bat. Cinema is at its best when it's a shared collective experience, and no other event recognises and appreciates this as much as the Tyneside Cinema's Cult Classic All Nighter.

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