Twenty years of Cinema at the Stamford Arts Centre? Well what a great time it has been. I have visited and enjoyed a wide range of films.
A selection that I can recall include re-released films such as “Brighton Rock” with Richard Attenborough (1947), “Sunset Boulevard”, a Billy Wilder film (1950) and just recently “The Third Man” with Orson Welles (1949).
Subtitled films, Guillermo del Toro’s “Devil’s Backbone” (2001) and “Pan’s Labyrinth” (2006) and recently “The One Hundred Year old Man who Climbed Out of a Window And Disappeared”.
Animation films, “Spirited Away” (2001), “Beleville Rendezvous” (2003) and “ Coraline (2009).
Silent films, of which I saw “The Cabinet of Dr Caligari” (1920), “Metropolis” (1927) and Buster Keaton’s “The General” (1926) and documentaries: “Grizzly Man” (2005) and “Into the Abyss” (2011) directed by Werner Herzog. Many of the more usual popular films have been shown, including many blockbusters.
I really appreciate the great variety of films the Stamford Arts Centre shows, even though some of them will be less popular. A subtitled Greek film springs to mind called “Dogtooth”, it had good reviews but was not to everyone’s taste. I remember some people leaving during the performance.
So what have been my memories over the years? I remember in the early days, during the film “Schindler’s List”, about three quarters of the way through, the film broke and to the embarrassment of the staff, there was nothing that could be done.
A refund was given and the opportunity to see the film again. Fortunately we did not have to wait long for the film to return. On another occasion there was the mystery of the opera music that suddenly started playing in the theatre.
It caused much puzzlement until it was found to be coming from a dear lady’s phone without her realising it! So it’s been quite eventful.
Going to the Arts Centre, I think I know what Stamford people like to see at the cinema.
I can almost guarantee that any film featuring Helen Mirren, Judy Dench, Bill Nighy and Maggie Smith will fill the auditorium twice over, so repeat showings are a must.
So Stamford Arts Centre I would like to thank you. Please keep up the good work and don’t change a thing - you all do a brilliant job. Here’s to the next 20 years!
PS I look forward to the showing of “Mr Turner”, a new Mike Leigh film starring Timothy Spall, I’m sure it will come.
Braemar Close, Stamford