Oh, it used to be magic gong to the flicks. To step out from your everyday life for a few hours of suspended disbelief on a velvet chair. Too often these days a trip to the multiplex is an exercise in how to destroy your soul (and empty your pockets). Architecture borrowed from the industrial estate, mega buckets of coke you could drown in (and by the end of the evening you might just be tempted), melted yellow plastic on nachos that stick like superglue to your insides, and (on average) about an hour of adverts broadcast at nosebleed Dolby stereo volume levels.
But if you look, very hard, in some forgotten corners of the world (places you might drive through or past unless you knew) cinema going is still the joy it once was. The Kinema in the Woods is one such place.
Opened in 1922 (only the 68th cinema to be opened in this country) in buildings which were previously farm outhouses and a cricket pavilion, nestled between the pines in the Lincolnshire Village of Woodhall Spa is the Kinema. The only place in the UK to use back projection (and the picture is excellent). Turn up on a Saturday night and you’ll have the pleasure of hearing Alan Underwood play a Compton Kinestra organ rising out of the floor at the interval (oh intervals! How I miss you!). And there is more…a disco ball, hand painted scenes of the Lincolnshire countryside on the wall panels, an impressive collection of projectors, cigarette cards and other film memorabilia in the foyer, and (when I came out into the bright sunshine) something I hadn’t seen for a long time at a cinema. A queue.
In a way it doesn’t matter what you see at the Kinema as long as you go. I was, filmclubbers, there on a weekday morning with children. Children’s summer blockbusters sometimes need to be endured rather than enjoyed (I have seen ‘The Smurfs’ and lived) and shockingly, on the evidence of it’s enormous box office returns, ‘Despicable Me 2’ wasn’t very good at all. No. It was bleedin’ marvellous.
So I have fallen in love, dear film clubbers. It’s going to be tricky, this long distance relationship thing, but a little piece of my heart will be forever in the woods in Lincolnshire. Dear Kinema, I will (I promise) be back.