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newlyn filmhouse

Exciting news has reached pasties & cream of plans to create a state-of-the-art, two-screen digital cinema and cultural space in Newlyn, in the old Turner’s fish house (pictured above). Up your street? Get thee along to the open day on Thursday to look at the plans & show your support.

With the local elections last week having taken the area’s pulse and found it somewhat faint, this is a well-timed reason to be cheerful. If planning goes smoothly, says owner Suzie Sinclair, it could be up and running by early next year.

My favourite line of the press release is the bit where it promises ‘comfy seats’ and luxurious surrounds. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Savoy Cinema in its own quirky, insufficiently heated way but the seats could never be called comfy.

Open day 2–5pm for general public – all visitors welcome. St Peter’s Church Hall, The Coombe, Newlyn.


I nearly died of surprise when I got to the cinema last night to find the Penwith Film Society‘s screening of ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’ had sold out, and a cluster of people waiting for some unlikely tickets to become available. It’s not often the Saveloy sells out.

Other than the brilliant Penwith Film Society’s weekly screenings, there’s an awful lot of mainstream fare, so the second cinema-related surprise of the week is that there’s also a one-off screening of a locally shot art-house film taking place on Thursday evening.

Local film director Mark Jenkin’s second feature-length film, Happy Christmas, is the film in question – ‘an interwoven seaside hymn to gift-wrapped promises and unwanted presence’. It is filmed in Penzance and around West Cornwall – I am hoping from the photo stills to see some gritty after-dark shots of the prom. Drinkies & nibbles in the bar upstairs afterwards.

Book in advance.

Anyone else caught The Way Back? It’s an epic film showing at the moment in several Merlin cinemas telling the thought-to-be-true story of a group of prisoners in a Russian Gulag who escape and walk 4,000 miles from Siberia to India – and freedom – in the most ridiculously inhospitable conditions and with the odds stacked horrifically against them.

Well, aside from being an inspiring film with staggering scenery, for Cornish viewers there is an added twist. As I sat there in chilly conditions in St Ives’ cinema, just a few miles away in Camborne lives the man who claims to be the real-life protagonist of this drama. Having kept it to himself for decades, in 2009 Witek Glinski told his tale to a journalist.

I thought a quick google would establish the bare bones of the true story but no… pretty much all facts to do with this seem still to be under discussion and whole books have been written on the subject. Here’s one of many articles about it. And another. I got sucked in and before long I had been clicking around for the best part of an hour.

Still, true or not true, and whether the real-life mega-hero of the story does indeed live in Cornwall or Read the rest of this entry »

regal cinema redruth cornwall

The last film I saw at Redruth’s Regal cinema was Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, which dates the trip at circa 1988 – a time when I almost certainly would have been wearing  high-waisted stonewashed jeans with zips at the ankles. So you could say my visit last night (to see The Hurt Locker) was long overdue.

Two decades on, the Regal is a surprisingly fancy affair, tricked out with neon deco signage, a bar and – the unique selling point – a licensed screen with saloon-style black leather seats, two-person love seats and acres of leg room.

That perennially short-changed Redruth should be the chosen cinema for this sort of flagship treatment isn’t perhaps as surprising as it first seems. Architecturally, this is easily the county’s most interesting cinema, an art deco affair dating back to 1935, with a gorgeous fin tower on the left, deco signage and a circular lobby. Read the rest of this entry »

p&c january header: artist’s studio Newlyn

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