Category Archives: Films

Film Confirmation – Zu Warriors From the Magic Mountain

Working on A Small Cinema you can come up against unforeseen challenges. For this project obtaining screening rights for our shortlist of Hong Kong classics proved especially difficult but after several long distance phone calls and email exchanges we can finally confirm tha our main feature for our Chinatown event will be Zu Warriors From the Magic Mountain (新蜀山剑侠).

The film follows Chinese soldiers in an ancient civil war who get caught up in a fantastical quest to save the universe. There quest unfolds with pioneering visual effects and lightening fast action sequences.

We are really delighted to confirm this feature as it had topped our shortlist. It was also fondly remembered by many of the people we approached throughout our research.

We are really looking forward to the 29th and hope you are as excited as we are.

Rotherham Archives

To get better acquainted with the history of Rotherham’s cinemas, I decided a trip to the library was in order. And after a spot of research I can confirm that the last film The Scala ever screened was Porky’s II. What a way to go.

Rotherham Library is a lot more cosy than its forbidding exterior would suggest, despite the echoes of some truly odd iPod selections (‘Oo Ee Oo Ah Ah, Ting Tang Walla Walla Bing Bang’) bouncing from wall to wall. If you wend your way upstairs you will find the Archives and Local Studies room, a haven of nostalgia filled with clippings and reels and photographs of long-forgotten palatial buildings – as well as staff who are more than willing to help.

After sulking for a few minutes over the stern Pencils Only rule, I pounced on the micro-film readers, which were more fun than my crummy refill pad anyway. Half an hour scouring the decades showed me how unlucky this town’s cinemas have often been, with a succession of doomed picturehouses crumbling into car parks, bingo halls and dust. Half the newspaper articles I read were pure speculation into which buyer might rescue a wilting business, or whether development plans for idealistic projects would ever come off.

So there I sat, trawling through reels and reels of Rotherham’s past, enjoying the yellowed pages which didn’t leave my hands feeling like chalk, and the sonorous analogue clacking as I skimmed from page to page.

Still, I’ve barely scraped the surface. Time to hit the books again tomorrow.

But for now, here’s a couple of snippets:

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Orla Foster

Your Guide to Good Buys at Kirkby Market

This short video was produced by Re-Dock as part of “A Small Cinema in Kirkby.” The idea was to speak with stall-holders and get a sense of the heritage of the market, the characters and the range of produce available in their own words.

Newspaper images kindly supplied by Knowsley Archive. (Rob & Lin)
Thanks to Mark & Adele and all the stall holders on Kirkby Market.
Music used under Creative Commons licence: Flutterspot “Take Care etc.” (Archive.org)

Fighting Chance – New Film Commission

We’re incredibly excited to have premiered “Fighting Chance” at “A Small Cinema in Kirkby.” This, specially commissioned, brand new short film by Tim Brunsden, brought a local story of Olympic proportions to our small-big-screen.

In a remarkable year-and-a-half, Kirkby local Kayleigh Hayes, formerly a dancer, has progressed from never having laced up a pair of gloves to winning the 2010 Womens Amateur Boxing (ABAE) National Senior Title. We catch up with Kayleigh in her preparations for an important International bout in Sweden and competition at international level has never been more intense: Womens Amateur Boxing is set to feature in the Olympic Games for the first time ever at London 2012 and there are still places on the GB team up for grabs! Continue reading

Kirkby: Your Enthusiasm

Documentary filmmaker Tim Brunsden produced this short piece which gives an insight into how “A Small Cinema in Kirkby” was able to happen: