Cinema St Andrews film season – new venues!

We are delighted to announce that the Cinema St Andrews film season, originally scheduled for The Byre, has been rearranged and will now be playing at different venues across town. The original dates still apply.

The season  is intended as a way of celebrating the town’s rich film heritage and of bringing film to different audiences. In staging the events at a variety of venues – including a church and a school – we will be recreating and recalling significant screenings from the last century.  Our first screening next Tuesday (5th February at 7pm) will be held at the Hope Park and Martyrs Church, St Mary’s Place (opposite the bus station). A number of the earliest film showings took place in churches. Indeed, the first cinema in St Andrews, the so-called Tin Tabernacle, was a converted church, which was transported across town in 1909. It seems particular fitting therefore that our first screening, which recalls the earliest days of cinemagoing, should be held in such a venue.

The screening of the Buster Keaton comedy Sherlock Jr will include live piano accompaniment from Jane Gardner and will also feature early footage of St Andrews from the Scottish Screen Archive. The event is free and open to all and we look forward to seeing many of you there!

Details of all the screenings are listed below. The venues for the later screenings are still to be confirmed, so please come back for further information.

Tuesday 5 February 2013: Sherlock Jr (1924) and footage from St Andrews. (with live piano accompaniment). 7PM at Hope Park and Martyrs Church.

‘Silent cinema’ is a common misnomer used to describe the early years of film. In reality, screenings were often raucous affairs with live music, performances and, in the case of Sherlock Jr, audience laughter accompanying the films. We will celebrate this era by screening this classic Buster Keaton comedy with live piano accompaniment. The screening will also include 20 minutes of early footage of St Andrews from the Scottish Screen Archive.

19 February 2013: The Blue Lamp (1950). 7pm at St Leonards School.

The most attended film in the UK in 1950, The Blue Lamp, was co-written by a lifelong resident and University graduate of St Andrews, Jan Read. As well as showing this Ealing police drama, which spawned the popular TV series Dixon of Dock Green, the screening will introduce rare footage filmed by Read in St Andrews and selected clips from other celebrated St Andrews filmmakers.

12 March 2013: The Misfits (1961) Venue tbc

On 12 December 1965, the long-running St Andrews Film Society screened The Misfits at the New Picture House as part of its 202nd meeting. Written by Arthur Miller (for his then-wife Marilyn Monroe), directed by John Huston and with the last screen performance of both Clark Gable and Monroe, the film provides a fascinating snapshot of a lost era, both in Hollywood and, through recollections of the film society, in St Andrews. Dr Elisabetta Girelli, a leading expert on one of the film’s stars, Montgomery Clift, will introduce the film.

2 April 2013: The Brothers (1947) Venue tbc

From Laurel and Hardy to Bill Murray, stars have frequently visited St Andrews, establishing the town as a ‘star site’ and contributing to its culture, heritage and economy. An early example of a ‘star’ visit saw Will Fyffe and Patricia Roc spend time at the Rusacks Hotel after filming the historical melodrama The Brothers in the Hebrides. Fyffe had recently bought a share in the hotel and a few months later would meet his death after falling from one of its windows.

23 April 2013: The Birds (1963) Venue tbc

Our screening this week will reproduce a film show from The Cinema House in 1963, which marked the 50th anniversary of the cinema’s opening. A further fifty years on (and with The Cinema House now a block of flats), we will mark the centenary of St Andrews’ first purpose built cinema by recreating this commemorative show. The screening brings together historical footage of St Andrews with Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, a tale of terror and peril in a remote coastal town.