Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Electric Cinema

Screen 1 Panorama
The Electric Cinema in Birmingham is a special place, its officially the oldest working cinema in the country  and Its got a detailed history. Its special for many reasons, whether it be the simple fact that you can buy a beer or a nice slice of cake rather than the usual cinema rubbish or that the seat are amazingly comfy, with special sofas at the back that you can pay extra for if you want an even nicer experience. The electric also has a varied range of films, from Hollywood blockbusters which will be shown a week or two after the usual cinemas have stopped showing them or art-house and foreign films. Or you can go there to watch cult classics or films that are just classics in their own right. I was going to go there a while back for a special valentines day event where we were due to see Casablanca. it would have been brilliant but unfortunately we were not able to do it. The good thing though is that they let us swap the tickets that we had bought for another showing of 'The Artist'. Seeing such an amazing film and a loving tribute  to the silent era was even more special  in a cinema that was as old as the films it homaged itself. There was about 2 minutes of awkward shuffling silence as everybody tried not to make a sound until the music kicked in in the film. I loved the film and so did my date too, which  is odd as most girls from 18-20 are not usually into silent French films.
The first time I went to the Electric it was a trip as part of my film studies class. We all went to see the Imaginaruim of Dr Parnassus (Short review: About an hour of surreal brilliance, followed by an hour of surreal nonsense) but before that got a tour of the place and a lecture by the cinemas owner. He's an interesting bloke with a passion for film and the venue that he runs and he was able to tell us about the history of the venue and the history of Hollywood. We were able to see the massive reels of film that are still used today to show the older films as well as the digital projectors they also use. a friend of mine even ended up getting a job just by talking to the owner, I wish I'd got a job at the electric.
The real treat was afterwards some of us were lucky enough to see the cinemas secret. The guy who runs the place does a lot of soundtrack work, partly for a documentary he was making about the cinema itself at the time, as such the place was packed full of guitars all over the walls, from Fenders, to Gibson's to 1950's slide guitars. Its a musicians heaven.
Its been a while since I've been there and I'd love to go back, I've also been to one f the UK's biggest Imax screens yet its the electric, I'd pick to go to any time. The electric has more character than just about anywhere else I've been.
As usual they're doing loads of events there at the moment such as a 'Film Food club' screening of High Society and a bad film screening of Miami Connection. there is also a Trek night and Live comedy.    

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