On one of my last visits up here before I moved back permanently, I saw a sign outside the village hall saying, 'FILM SHOWING ON SUNDAY: PAUL. 7.30PM.' I went home and asked my mum about it, and she told me that once a month the village hall runs a film night - you pay £5 for a ticket, and you can take in whatever snacks and drinks you like. This immediately piqued my interest - being a huge film lover, I knew that I had to go at some stage. Plus, I haven't been inside the new village hall since it was rebuilt a few years ago, and I was desperate for a nosy round. However, having seen 'Paul' before, I wasn't too keen to repeat the experience.
This month - a mere week after I moved back - posters and signs for this month's showing appeared around the village and it was for one of my favourite films of all time, 'Django Unchained'.
I immediately told The Engineer that he wasn't allowed to have any plans for Sunday 22nd May as we were going to the village hall for a film night. He went along with me, and last night at 7.15pm we walked down to the village hall. It was great walking to the cinema without having to pay for petrol or parking.
When we got there, I had a chat with the lady on the door who's lived in the village since before I was born; that's what I missed in Norfolk, up here, everyone stops to chat to you. After paying our £10, we went into the hall and I was pleasantly surprised. I was expecting a screen about the size you might see in a classroom - big enough, but not massive. The projector screen they had was huge. It practically blocked off one end of the hall! And they'd set out three tables with tablecloths and candles for you to sit at if you wanted to, which was a nice touch, as well as a row of chairs behind.
There was a total of seven of us there. The people who run it told me during the interval (yeah that's right, we had an interval where we could go and make ourselves a cup of tea and have a biscuit - amazing!!) that the've had up to 30 people before, but since light nights/summer began, less and less people have been showing up. It costs them about £120 to run - you don't have to be good at maths to figure out they were definitely making a loss last night.
I've decided that I'm going to go along and support the film night every month if I can. To me, it just seems like such a great idea to get the community together, and it would be shame if they had to close it down due to lack of numbers. Next month's showing will be 'Birdman' - once again, a film that I've seen but didn't particularly enjoy. However, I'll be going along anyway with my bag of Maltesers and my pick 'n' mix to show my support; I've already informed my parents that they'll be coming with me.
Oh, and the 'Full Moon Cinema' name? Turns out they called it that because they have the film nights once a month when there's a full moon. I thought that was a brilliant idea. And sure enough, when The Engineer and I walked back home at 10.45pm, I looked up into the clear sky and there was a bright full moon hanging there. It was magical.
If you live in England and you want to find out more about these community run film nights, you can check out the Cine North website here - I'm sure there are others run up and down the country, but my local one is run by Cine North.
Have you ever been to/heard of community run cinemas? What did you think? Would you go to one if your local hall/community centre put one on?