Share the Magic

Share the Magic

Scalarama happens across the UK in September every year.  In its fifth year, its aim is to ‘celebrate and unite all the different venues, film clubs and enthusiasts across the world who believe in showing films to others.’ Each film is chosen by a different organisation or individual, allowing for more diversity in the programming.  The films are being screened in a variety of environments ranging from a coffee shop to a rooftop, or an independent cinema.

Our interest was piqued, so we visited Metal at Edge Hill Station last week to catch a screening. Metal are a local arts organisation who have been running their ‘film station’ events for the past eight years. From old classics to undiscovered gems, they show great movies of every kind in a miniature screening room inside the station. The screening of ‘Daisies’ last week was their first fully booked event, in part attributed to the promotion around the national Scalarama programme.  The film was also part of the #directedbywomen series, a global celebration of female film directors, promoting gender equality in film production.

metal-cinema-liverpool (2)

The cinema is intimate and nostalgic, filled with antique chairs and a digital projector (pictured).  We were introduced to the film by Metal project manager, Jenny Porter, who explained that ‘Daisies’ was originally perceived as a controversial feature when it was released in the sixties and was banned from being screened.  Afterwards, we were encouraged to have a debate on the key themes and issues highlighted throughout the film.  ‘Daisies’ provided lots of fuel for the conversation, with most of us chipping in our thoughts.  We left the screening on a high, having enjoyed a truly social film experience. We’ll be going back for their next screening of ‘Night Train’ by Polish director Jerzy Kawalerowicz on 25th September (perhaps a fitting choice!)

Cinema has been experiencing a revival in recent years, after numbers dwindled to all time low in the mid-eighties following the rise of the VHS rental market and ‘home cinema’ technologies. Yet the latest figures show that more and more of us are now choosing to leave the 42” plasma screen at home and venturing out to our local cinema. Why? Well it’s more than likely because as human beings we have an inherent social need to be around others, to laugh together, cry together, and be horrified together.  The cinema provides a safe escape environment, where we can switch off and experience the film as it was intended to be delivered.  We are also exposed to films which we may not ordinarily choose to watch at home.

With many independent, voluntary run spaces popping up in Liverpool, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing a venue.  Liverpool Small Cinema have an exciting film programme, with tickets costing as little as £3.  The space was built entirely by volunteers using donated materials.  We are also lucky to be home to Fact (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) in the Ropewalks quarter, who are the pioneers of the independent cinema scene in Liverpool and host a number of exhibitions relating to digital media throughout the year.  The Royal Philharmonic Hall in the Georgian Quarter features the only working Walturdaw Cinema screen left in the world. Not to mention our new Secret Garden Cinema, a pop-up rooftop cinema screening classic films under the stars, with exceptional views of the city.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there, support your burgeoning local cinema scene and most importantly share the experience with others.  Liverpool’s the place to be if you love film.

For current Scalarama event listings visit:

Scalarama website

Or, explore the range of films being shown in Liverpool:

Fact (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology)

Liverpool Small cinema

Metal at Edge Hill

Secret garden cinema

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Hall

Published: 16/09/2015