I love going to the cinema but I just don’t enjoy the multiplex experience with its overpriced drinks and gaudy décor. In an ideal world, my cinema of choice would come straight out of the delightful 1957 film ‘The smallest show on earth’. I was enchanted by this film as a child and wished that I too would one day inherit an old flea pit style cinema from an unknown wealthy relative. The ticket kiosk, the auditorium and the array of eccentric characters working there created a fantasy cinema experience that reality has failed to deliver.
It was therefore with some excitement that I spotted a poster for films being shown on a Saturday night, once a month, in the hall of a village, a short distance away from where I live. These village cinema experiences are blissful and run entirely be a committed band of elderly volunteers. On arriving, you are greeted by a friendly face and given a ticket which is always aesthetically pleasing and looks like a cinema ticket should. The seats are comfortable too, although some of the more elderly attendees do bring extra cushions. On entering the main hall, the lights are up so that people have the chance to find their places. Those who enjoy sweets and chocolates thoughtfully undo the wrappers in advance so as not to spoil the film with rustling.
Each performance is prefaced by a warm hearted introduction from one of the volunteers and then the lights dim and the film begins.
Afterwards, refreshments and cakes are served in the adjoining room. We go with another couple but enjoy mingling with the mostly elderly widows who attend. It really is a perfect night out.