The Errol Flynn Filmhouse – with reclining leather armchairs and beer at the bar – opens its second screen on April 7.
Built next to Royal & Derngate and named after one of the Royal’s famous alumni, it has had 170,000 cinema goers pass through its doors since opening in June 2013.
Screenwriter Karin Johnstone recalls her cinema going experiences at the Errol Flynn and shares her pick of the upcoming movies.
I’ve spent many magical evenings on the back row at the Errol Flynn cinema. For those in the know the back-row seats, spaciously paired up are known as the seats for date nights. I only discovered this when I sat next to an old friend of my sisters who said, ‘Oooh are you here on a date night too?’ It seemed churlish to say ‘no – I’ve come to watch a film’. So, I just said yes. Then I spent the next five minutes stressing about what she might say to my mate who had just gone to the loo.
Clearly, I don’t sit on the back seats for romantic intent. I like the back row because I can see many of the faces looking up at the screen in rapt attention. I love the hushed moments in a film and if I get bored look down the rows of glinting wine bottles and beers glasses. The present screen is often packed so it’s great news that from April 7th a new second screen with 83 seats will be opening.
One of the opening films to be screened is ‘The Time of Their Lives’ a comedy aimed at the (well over) 50’s. The film stars two legendary Collins actresses. Joan Collins is a washed up glamorous actress (no type casting here then?) alongside the lovely Pauline Collins. The two ladies are forced out of the comfort of their retirement home when Joan needs to get to the funeral of an ex in France. Once in France Pauline Collins normally under the thumb of her husband, played by Ronald Pickup meets the dashing widower, played by Franco Nero. No one can accuse the Italian Nero – from cult Westerns and gun slinging characters of being type cast in the film. The film looks pretty, the ladies rolling through the French country side in a 2CV with expansive blue skies and sandy beaches.
If you fancy something a bit more substantial try the Epic true life adventure story of ‘The Lost City of Z’. The film based on the non-fiction book by David Grann, tells the story of a British born explorer who ventured into the Amazon in the hope of finding a new civilisation. ‘I wish to find a lost city,’ says Charlie Hunnam, as explorer Percy Fawcett. His story is unfinished – since he disappeared with his son Jack in 1925. This beautifully shot film, with exquisite cinematography by Darius Khondji (of Se7en fame) is enthralling. For star hunters, the film also features Sienna Miller and Robert Pattinson.
But, dear star hunters I’ll leave you with a non-film related question? Werner Herzog said there can be no true adventures anymore, like the aforementioned journey of explorer Percy Fawcett. What do you think? I’m not sure I agree…Before I set off on my own adventure (sorry Werner) to Bonn – just a reminder to go and see one of the greatest films of all time. Hitchcock’s classic – Psycho, showing at the original Errol Flynn screen.