For some holiday tipplers, the corner bar or even the corner store are sufficient for their liquid cheer. But for others, New Year's Eve or the winter break from work or school call for something a little more festive and elaborate — catching a Tinseltown blockbuster at a local brew-and-view cinema, or better yet, taking an excursion to a bar created in the image of one of your favorite films from years past. For the especially adventuresome cinephile/drinker, here are some of the world's best movie-themed bars.
1. A Clockwork Orange: Korova Milk Bar (White Plains, New York)
Originally headquartered in Manhattan's East Village, this tribute to Stanley Kubrik's cinematic re-creation of the milk bar from Anthony Burgess novel has now moved north to the suburbs. But the Kovova Milk Bar still has the same weird mannequins, and the same libationary homage to the drug-laced milk served in Burgess' fictional hangout.
2. The Hobbit: The Hobbit (Southampton, England)
You may prefer director Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy to his new Hobbit movie, but if you like any of them, this pub in southern England is a good destination to drink. "Yes, it's a Lord of the Rings pub, and it is a geeky one at that," says Colin Druce-McFadden at DVICE. "There is an extensive list of themed cocktails and shots. Even Faramir and Wormtongue have signature drinks." Oh, and since you know J.R.R. Tolkien wouldn't, "don’t miss the Shire-inspired Beer Garden" out back.
3. The Re-Animator: The Lovecraft (Portland, Oregon)
Really, pick your favorite horror flick for this homage to the writer H.P. Lovecraft. We went with Lovecraft's own story, "Herbert West—Reanimator" — and the 1985 film version, The Re-Animator, but Portland's The Lovecraft is really for anyone fascinated by "humanity’s insignificance compared to the horrors of the cosmos," says DVICE's Druce-McFadden. True to the horror genre, "the walls are painted a cave-like black and decorated with severed doll heads and other freaky ephemera," says Danielle Centoni in The Oregonian, "but there's a genuinely friendly vibe among staff and customers."
4. Alien: H.R. Giger Bar (Gruyères and Chur, Switzerland)
If you've seen any of Ridley Scott's Alien movies, you're familiar with the creepy, surreal art of H.R. Giger. Giger himself designed these Alien-themed bars in Switzerland, and "they are the closest thing you can get to knowing what it is to be Ripley herself," says DVICE's Druce-McFadden. "The floor tiles are Alien hieroglyphs. The seats even have vertebrae," and both bars are "at once geeky and terrifying."
5. Night of the Living Dead: Donny Dirk’s Zombie Den (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
What better way to celebrate George Romero and his seminal zombie movie than at a bar that sells itself as "a defiant outpost of madness in a world gone sane." Really, says Vicki Santillano at Divine Caroline, Donny Dirk's Zombie Den is "both a place of respite from brain-eating fiends (there's a chainsaw behind glass in the bar with a sign that says, 'In Case of Zombie Attack, Break Glass)' and a celebration of their culture."
6. Doctor Who: The Way Station (Brooklyn, New York)
Yes, there was a feature-length movie made of the storied British sci-fi TV show, and no, it wasn't very good. But for Doctor Who fans, the Brooklyn bar The Way Station has everything from a sonic screwdriver beer pull to a TARDIS-themed bathroom — "and it's actually bigger on the inside," says Tor.com. For Whovian tipplers on the West Coast, Portland has its own TARDIS Room pub, in the back of the Fish and Chip Shop.
7. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Red Sea Star (Eliat, Israel)
It's hard not to imagine being in Captain Nemo's Nautilus, at least the Walt Disney 1954 cinematic version of H.G. Wells' submarine, in this Israeli underwater watering hole. The Red Sea Star bar is actually under the water of the Red Sea, so "holding a conversation must be tough in this bar, where every window allows patrons to get lost in the fascinating sea creatures and plants thriving mere inches away from them," says Divine Caroline's Santillano.
8. Die Another Day: Icebar (Stockholm, Sweden)
The pivotal part of the 2002 James Bond film Die Another Day takes place in an all-ice hotel and bar in Iceland. The closest you'll probably get is the Icebar in Stockholm. There are now a few Icebars scattered in major cities around the world, but Sweden's was the first, and "it's the perfect place for a frosty beverage since everything inside the bar is made from ice harvested from the Torne River in Swedish Lapland — including the glasses you drink from," says Alison Nastasi at Flavorwire.
9. The Right Stuff: NASA Bar (Bangalore, India)
India has its own space program, but it's a testament to the trailblazing path set by NASA — memorialized by Hollywood in films like The Right Stuff and Apollo 13, even 2001: A Space Odyssey — that this bar in Bangalore re-created outer space, American style, inside a space shuttle. "Bartenders and servers wear spacesuits and pilot uniforms," says Flavorwire's Alison Nastasi. "Rocket fins, space shuttle doors, laser beams, portholes, and other cosmic touches make the bar a place Stanley Kubrick would have loved."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
- Republicans love this new health care plan. Too bad it's basically a tax cut for the rich.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- In defense of Gwyneth Paltrow
- In Ferguson, Michael Brown lost his life — and America's police lost the benefit of the doubt
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 10 classic Sesame Street moments we wouldn't show today's kids
- 8 tricks to surviving the holidays without gaining weight or being grouchy
- Don't blame Chuck Hagel: Obama's foreign policy has been a disaster from end to end
- 17 old proverbs we should use more often
Subscribe to the Week