When asked if I wanted to attend the opening of Northampton’s new cinema The Errol Flynn Filmhouse, there was not a second’s hesitation. Maybe it was something to do with the promise of plush leather seats, an excellent offering of independent, foreign and mainstream film topped off with locally sourced food and drink!
The cinema, situated on Derngate (opposite the entrance to Castillian St), is very distinct from the Royal & Derngate despite its attachment to the theatres.
As I love a bit of vintage I was happy to see an old fashioned lightbox announcing the cinema. A warm welcome awaited inside from staff and a well stocked bar with offerings from local producers Warner-Edwards gin (I’m hoping that they do a sloe gin), continental beer, a nice selection of teas and some funky flavoured colas. Not to mention a nice glass of fizz available for that extra touch of glitz and glamour to your visit but before I get carried away…
Why the Errol Flynn Filmhouse?
Of course I knew that Errol Flynn was a well known actor (think The Adventures of Robin Hood) but I didn’t know of his time in Northampton where he was part of the Northampton Repertory Players at the Royal theatre for several months in 1933. In fact, the swashbuckling actor is known to have said that they were the best days of his life.
Old meets new as the film house is the first of the Northampton Alive projects to be completed, with the aim to promote the town’s regeneration and heritage. Created for a more grown up viewing experience, the cinema also offers specific parent and baby viewings as well as ‘silver screenings’ for the more experienced viewer. Surprisingly the added experience won’t cost you the earth. An adult ticket is £7.50 (£8.50 after 6pm Fri & Sat) and children £5 (£6). Discounts are available for silver viewings, students and job seekers.
The 90 seater cinema is also available for hire. The EFF is really exited to engage with Northampton communities and ideas about how it can be used. If you have ideas, please contact the team.
What to expect
From outside the Errol Flynn Filmhouse resembles a Scandinavian log cabin thanks to its wooden exterior. Inside you’ll find intimate entrance that gives way to the spacious auditorium. I liked the delicate touches like the star effect coming from the wall lights.
You’ll be impressed by the huge screen (it really is massive, very wide) and the gorgeous reclining leather seats. I’ll admit it, I did a Chandler and Joey from sitcom Friends: leant back and let out a sigh of comfort. It’s ok, I went at a quieter time! For the taller of us, you’ll be happy to hear that there’s ample leg room. I’ve got long legs that didn’t even reach the seats in front. A first!
To really make your experience (talking from the view of someone obsessed with food) you can choose from sweet and savioury nibbles, Gallones Ice Cream, plus the old favourite popcorn. Be prepared to be amazed. There’s SweetCrisp and Olive Oil & Sea Salt but for the more exploratory popcorn lover there’s flavours like Salted Caramel and Strawberries & Cream. I’ve also had a tip off that there will be hand-made donuts on offer after the cinema opens this evening but as I’ve not seen/tried these myself, I can’t confirm or deny!
My first viewing isn’t until next week but I’ll be getting my review up soon after. If you visit over the weekend, please share your experiences. Check out what’s on.
Have a great weekend,