They say that New York is the most cinematic city in the world, with practically every street corner appearing in a film somewhere…even its grim and unprepossessing areas have become beautiful in our eyes through the magic of the silver screen. The Manhattan skyline, Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge, Little Italy…through films, we know these places so well and through films they have become bigger than life, with a presence and romance way beyond their actual physical stature.
Meanwhile Sheffield is immortalised in “The Full Monty” – dole queues, doldrums and a burned-out car being pulled out of the canal.
It doesn’t seem fair – our city has its share of grimness, for sure, and yet it is full of extraordinary beauty and architectural gems, though many hidden from the casual eye.
One of the fun things about creating a pop up cinema club is the constant search for venues and locations. Places to show a film, sure, but also places that create an atmosphere, places with a history and a story of their own, or places that invite new history to be made.
We’ve been showing films in places that are easy for people to gather, which generally means community centres and schools – these in themselves are fascinating with their distant echoes of generations of use – or cafes on noisy multicultural streets with buses and bikes going past. They each have their features and all add something to the presentation of the film (even if it’s just the smell of chips wafting in from the takeaway next door, or a choir rehearsing somewhere else in the building) – but we’re also always thinking about new and different venues to make it a really unforgettable experience, and to celebrate the wonders of the city we live in.
And Sheffield is full of cinematic possibilities – maybe not all health and safety conscious, true, but try just looking around the corner, or looking up at the rooftops, on any familiar journey and you’re bound to find some architectural surprises….we intend to do more “event” screenings in special venues (such as the Lantern Theatre, where we showed “Kind Hearts and Coronets”) to complement particular films, but also some random outdoor screenings in unusual nooks and crannies of the city. Watch this space, as there’ll be more news of these in the next few weeks…possibly coming to a street corner near you….
Just some of the buildings and spaces we like include:
Portland Works, S2 (behind CCC near Bramall Lane)
Atlas and Brightside
The Blue Loop (canal and lower Don Valley)
The buildings and derelict space behind Pinders art shop towards Devonshire Green
The Lantern Theatre in Netheredge
And check out Sheffield Civic Trust for more information and inspiration about Sheffield’s architectural and cultural riches.