With a family trip to the local multiplex costing just slightly less than the cost of a small second-hand car, cinema outings have become a luxury for many in these tough economic times. Unless, that is, you live in our village where we can enjoy a movie, refreshments and good company and have enough change out of a tenner to put something on the collection plate.
Saturday saw the grand gala opening of Calverley Community Cinema in our historic parish church. St Wilfrid’s dates back to the 14th century, with bits of it as old as the 11th century. But it was 21st century technology and one of the best-loved films ever made that brought people though the doors clutching their £4 ticket fee in one hand and a cushion to guard against the bum-numbing effects of the pews in the other.
It’s A Wonderful Life, the 1946 classic from Frank Capra, which regularly features in The Greatest Movies Of All Time charts, tells the story of a philanthropic banker (yes, seriously!) George Bailey. He falls on hard times through no fault of his own (ooo, the irony, compare and contrast with the bankers 50 years later who land on their feet with stonking bonuses at the expense of pretty much everyone else in the world……) and wishes he’d never been born.
His guardian angel Clarence, an amiable bi-centenarian, convinces him life’s worth living, as the world was much the worse without that particular banker (I couldn’t possibly comment about how much need the world has for modern-day bankers). Cue the tissues, much sobbing and general agreement that the film is as wonderful as its title.
The plan is for monthly showings in the church, with maybe the return of Saturday morning children’s matinees. For the time being, the organisers want to hear from the audience what we want to see. Next up is Cinema Paradiso, the Vicar’s favourite. I’ve put in a bid for Top Gun!