The Alternative Experience
Over the past few years, the cinema has increasingly become a hub of multimedia activity, showcasing a variety of art forms rather than just the standard delivery of celluloid content.
Cinema owners could’ve been forgiven for cursing the arrival of the Olympics at the end of July. With an audience of 26.9million tuning in to watch Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony, the amount of people venturing into the nation’s silver screens would inevitably decline over the two-week period. To combat the move, some cinemas – including multiplex chains Cineworld and Vue – brought the Olympics to the big screen, hosting a multitude of events for free. And it’s not just the big names getting onboard with the festival of sport – both London’s The Ritzy and the Hackney Picturehouse screened the 100 metres finals without charge, and the Picturehouse chain also hosted events for the closing night ceremony on the final day.
However, if you’re not particularly interested in sport, or even particularly interested in film, then you could still find appropriate evening entertainment at your local cinema via the new satellite theatre broadcasts that have been causing a recent storm amongst the British viewing public. The National Theatre Live has brought an eclectic host of personalities to the big screen from Lenny Henry (The Comedy Of Errors) to James Corden (One Man, Two Guvnors) as well as critically-lauded productions such as the Danny Boyle-directed Frankenstein. These offerings open up audiences, giving the opportunity to those who live in more remote areas within the UK and elsewhere the chance to see some of the best theatrical productions the nation has to offer – lavish, sold-out events, but now with the added benefits of close-ups and behind-the-scenes content, all at a discounted rate.
Recently the Globe Theatre has come in on the act with Globe On Screen, a new season of screenings which include 2011’s theatrical productions of William Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well and Much Ado About Nothing as well as Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus. For the very first time audiences will be able to see these Globe productions outside of its iconic theatre walls, all in the comfort of their local silver screen. Dominic Dromgoole, Artistic Director of the Globe, sums up the offerings, “We are delighted that these productions will be finding new audiences, who can experience Globe shows as if they were in the building.”
Another opportunity to see something a little different at your local cinema will be presented when Shut Up And Play The Hits is released in the UK next month, 4 September. A chronicle of dance-punk band LCD Soundsystem’s final gig at Madison Square Garden, the film promises to be a simultaneously intimate and grandeur musical and cinematic experience like you have never seen before.
It’s clear to see that whatever might take your fancy, the current cinema space has a wealth of content on offer.
For more information and cinema listings on Globe on Screen visit the official website.