So here’s something new – I’ve been to a cinema and paid for a ticket to see a film (based on a script) I wrote.
What’s more, it’s the same cinema where I saw a shit load of the films which ultimately inspired me to become a writer in the first place:
Return of the Jedi, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, E.T., Gremlins, all three Back to the Futures … etc.
It’s a cinema in the same location and building, if not the actual cinema. It was the Regal back then:
This was the only photo I could find.
Obviously, it hasn’t looked anything like this during my lifetime, much less during the eight years of the eighties when I lived there. In fact, I’m pretty certain that balcony entrance has been a brick wall for my entire life; but you get the point. It used to be one of those cool old cinemas with really dark, sinister ceilings you could never quite see and, for reasons which never quite seemed fair, the entire centre section reserved for smokers.
Now, of course, it looks rather more like this:
Which, although not unpleasant as modern cinemas go (and certainly a step up from the aluminium box of most multiplexes) doesn’t quite have the same charm.
But never mind. The principle is still the same, it’s a cinema on the same location and mostly in the same building and I’m going, with my friends (and Auntie Sheila) to watch a film based on my script.
Here’s what a ticket to a watch your own film looks like:
And here’s what it looks like when you’re actually sitting in the auditorium:
I was going to take a photo of the bit where it says WRITTEN BY PHILLIP BARRON, because, you know, I’m like that – but unfortunately we missed that bit due to the cinema starting the film 10 minutes early.
We walked in at 13.03 for a 13.10 showing to find the film already well past the credits and the opening scenes.
The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed there are no heads obscuring the view of the screen in the above photo. That will be because there are no other people in the cinema. None, save the four of us. It appears the projectionists were so confident they wouldn’t sell any tickets they just whacked the film on early and fucked off for lunch.
Okay, so fair enough, it’s a lunchtime showing – no fucker is going to go and see it. Particularly since there’s no advertising to promote the film. I mean, why would you? What the hell would have to go wrong with your life before you’re rushing to the cinema midday, midweek to see a film you’ve never heard of? But still, come on! At least wait until the advertised time before starting it. Hell, if you waited an extra five minutes you could just not bother running it at all – it’s basically just a waste of electricity.
And there, perhaps, is another contributing factor to the total lack of ticket sales: the advertised time.
Here’s a photo of the film times, as displayed outside the cinema:
Click that one, make it bigger. Really take a good look at it.
Apart from me reflected in the glass?
Yup, that’s right – Just for the Record isn’t even fucking mentioned! The cinema isn’t even admitting they’re showing the fucking thing. Is it really that embarrassing? I mean, more embarrassing than Furry Vengeance, for example?
So to sum up – it’s a film no one’s heard of, with no adverts anywhere, no posters outside and not even the film time listed on the actual fucking cinema itself … who wants to guess at the total number of ticket sales for the week?
I’m guessing four: me, Mike, Mark and Auntie Sheila.
So what do a paying audience think of it?
Well … they were very polite …