Film academics take over London cinema for unique 1960s night!

Cinema-goers are being invited to step back in time to the 1960s with a special event at London’s Picturehouse Central.

For one night only on June 29, a group of actors will take over the Piccadilly Circus cinema to give members of the public a taste of what a night at the cinema was like in London 50 years ago.

Inside the Piccadilly Circus cinema, which will be transformed for the immersive theatre event

Promotional stunts, over-chatty commissionaires and glamorous usherettes will all be part of the fun before the screening of Hammer’s One Million Years BC.

The performance, organised by academics at De Montfort University Leicester’s (DMU) Cinema and Television History (CATH) Research Centre and DMU's Drama department, invites people to explore the changing nature of cinema-going and the central role it once played in many people’s social lives.

The actors’ dialogue and events are all based upon 1,000 people’s memories recorded by researchers on an Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded project. Academics from DMU’s CATH centre and Drama departments collaborated with actors, directors and costume designers to bring the memories to life.

It is believed to be the first time that academic research has been presented in this innovative way.

Dr Matthew Jones, senior lecturer in Cinema and Television History, said: “Step into Picturehouse Central on 29 June and you will be taken back in time to explore the sights, sounds and tastes of a London cinema that is struggling to adapt while the city around it is swinging.

“The new youth culture – all miniskirts and bobs – is pressing in at the doors, and Mr Robert Ward-Jones, the cinema’s manager, whose background is more Savile Row than Carnaby Street, doesn’t know whether to batten down the hatches or attempt to move with the times.

“But now Hammer’s new film, One Million Years B.C., with its stunning dinosaurs and the equally stunning Raquel Welch, has landed firmly on his programme. It’s crying out for a little showmanship, and Mr Ward-Jones has pulled out all the stops in one last desperate attempt to draw in the cool cats of London.

“So dig out your finest 1960s attire, come down to Picturehouse Central and see what awaits you inside!”

* Full house as DMU academics hosts film extravaganza
* Memories of cinemagoing recorded for new documentary

For an hour before the film, people can explore the space, discover the secrets hidden inside, meet the characters who work there, and get involved as Mr Ward-Jones puts his plan into action.

Afterwards people are invited to join the swinging Londoners for a screening of One Million Years BC, 1960s trailers and short films, followed by refreshments and dancing in the bar.

The event starts at 7pm. Tickets are on sale now through the Picturehouse Cinemas website for £18 adults, £15 concessions.
Posted on Wednesday 1 June 2016

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