I want to be in the movie business; having said that, I don’t want to make movies (a childhood dream that will come to nought I am afraid), I want to show movies to an audience of people and do it for a living. Yes, I want to work in a cinema.
When I was younger I attended an interview with Odeon to work at the new multiplex in Tunbridge Wells; I chose not to take the job. This has proved to be one of my more successful decisions as I have come to dislike everything that an Odeon is about. Almost singlehandedly, they have progressively removed the magic that surrounds movies. They have made going to the movies a lifeless, characterless, dull experience that only succeeds in emptying your wallet. Each Odeon multiplex is exactly the same and each one has the feeling of a cardboard box that happens to be showing the latest movie on three screens seven times a day. Not only that, it will only cater for the mind-numbingly boring movies that are nothing more than preludes to the inevitable toy collection. (The Lego Movie, for me, was one overlong advert for the product.)
So I propose a return to the old feeling of a cinema, which is also known as a movie theatre, yes, that’s right, a theatre; a place of imagination, wonder, splendour and excitement.
I have read that in Newcastle there is a project that fills empty spaces, such as shops with creative arts events. I would like to use this idea in the South East and start to show movies that you cannot see at the Odeon. Latest movies like The Grand Budapest Hotel; older movies, or events, such as Back to the Future or E.T. for a new audience to discover on the big screen.
Here is my first thought for a double bill.
I want the whole thing to be an experience, and try to reflect the same feeling I had as a child going to the Classic in Tunbridge Wells to watch The Empire Strikes Back. There was excitement in the building, there was wonder. Posters gave you a hint of the movie you were about to see; magazines and comic book adaptations were available to buy; in the foyer you could look at promotional photos of the movie, all in black and white even though the movie was in colour, and for me this heightened the sense of expectation (as if it made the experience in the actual cinema even better).
The Southwark Playhouse create a similar effect with their theatre. They take a space that has not been used and transform it completely, to great effect. Even though you are in an empty shop or warehouse, there is drama and magic from what they have done; it is a creative space.
In Maidstone, where I am now, there are numerous empty spaces that cry out to be used. The local council must be able to allow their use for a limited price. For me, as a taxpayer, I would rather have a thriving town than an empty one, and take the lead of Brighton, where it seems most shops that lie empty are used to sell bric-a-brac, odd stuff. That makes Brighton what it is, a place for the quirky.
I will attempt to get this project off the ground, and here, at my blog, I will post updates on the process. If anyone has any advice, please, I would be very grateful to you.
currently reading: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn; currently watching: Fringe and Breaking Bad, via Netflix; last movie watched: The Lego Movie (crap); currently drinking: coffee, from Kenco Millicano;