I saw my first film at the Errol Flynn Filmhouse on Thursday when I went to see British drama Summer In February. I had already had a look around the week before and was very impressed that the film house had lived up to my expectations so I went back to have a more thorough look.
For me, it ticks all the boxes, great viewing, good food and drink, comfort, convenience (I like to walk into town but there are plenty of car parks close by) and it’s pretty good value for money.
Friendly staff greeted me and helped me collect my tickets, something that I heard offered to everyone entering. I was a little early (the bar opens 30 minutes before the showing starts) but was still able to I order myself a glass of pink fizz £5.00 and some popcorn (Sweet & Crisp) £2.50. Be prepared for a challenge in decision making as there’s a really good selection of drinks.
The venue was nice and clean despite the driving rain outside. As it started to get a little crowded in the reception area, I moved into the auditorium with my refreshments. You get to take your glass/ tea cup and saucer in with you to enjoy during the film like a real grown up!
The wine was nice and light; I could actually taste the different flavours. The popcorn was tasty and although it wasn’t all coated like when I first sampled it at the open day (yes I’m being picky), it was much better than I’ve had at other cinemas. It had the promised sweetness along with a sneaking hint of salt which really made it, despite me not liking salted popcorn.
You can expect simple yet stylish decor in the auditorium, a touch that contributes to grown up feel achieved by Royal and Derngate. You don’t have to worry about finding you row in the dark, the letters for the rows were lit up. It made me happy! And no longer will you have to worry about shuffling past a row of disgruntled people, concentrating frantically on not tripping over bags, coats and people. You can make your way past as they continue to sit comfortably thanks to ample leg/passing room.
I think that the highlight of the experience has to be the luxury leather reclining seats. They’re so comfortable and add to the sense of occasion.
We were sat in row B, second from the front, which was a bit too close for me but it didn’t distract from the film unlike the temperature of the room. I was wearing summer clothing to be fair but the room got really cold. I mentioned it on leaving but it’s only been open a week so hopefully they’ll find a happy medium soon enough.
Concessions: (students, senior 60+, jobseekers and disabled) £6.50/£7.50
Child: (14 and under) £5.00/£6
*Peak Screenings (Fri & Sat eve screenings from 6pm)
Silver Screen matinees: £5
Parent/carer and baby screenings £6.50 (baby aged under two goes free)
Live Broadcasting screenings £14, £12 concessions, £10 for child.
Please note prices may vary for different genres of Live Broadcast screenings.
First off: some of the themes are given away so if you don’t want to know anything, skip to Overall Experience
Summer In February definitely suited the venue. It’s set in Cornwall, early in the 20th Century and the tale concentrates on the real life exploits of the Lamorna group of influential artists. The story, written by Jonathan Smith, concentrates on the characters of ‘genius’/arrogant pig Alfred (AJ) Munnings (Dominic Cooper), aspiring artist/beauty Florence Carter-Wood (Emily Browning) and military man/true Gent Gilbert Evans (Dan Stevens).
It’s definitely one for those interested in painting and poetry which aren’t my biggest loves so it took me a little while to get into it (Munnings demanding that everyone listen to his poetic outbursts got on my wick) but soon enough, I was enveloped as a love triangle developed and everything started to go wrong in the bohemian paradise.
The film depicts quite an interesting time before the Great War where the little community experiments with an unconventional life, wrapped up in its art. Although it looks at the difficult subjects of mental health and domestic abuse, it is pretty much the story of a love triangle. That shouldn’t give you a negative impression because it was a good film and a good choice if you’re a fan of period drama/art.
The highlight for me was Dan Stevens as Gilbert. I’m not really familiar with Stevens’ but I am a huge romantic and the character of Gilbert was a real sweetie although I felt that he was capable of more as was Florence.
This isn’t for the action lover but it was an insight into what seems to have been a very intriguing time. A must if you’re into your art and/or a love tragedy.
I love the fact that you can enjoy a more decadent film experience, with tasty treats (many locally sourced), a great range of films from mainstream to British/world independents and comfy seats for the same price as more commercial cinema options.
Errol Flynn Filmhouse has a modern chic but there also seems to be a vintage appeal of how I imagine bygone cinema trips to be. A bit more of an occasion, a treat definitely worth giving yourself.
I’m booked in to see local film Kinky Boots on Friday but may have to sneak into Battle of the Sexes on Thursday which tells of tennis star and women’s rights activist Billy Jean King’s clash against male chauvinist Bobby Riggs in 1973. I’ve managed not to research her or the outcome of the clash between the two champions but the trailer managed to get my blood boiling so think it might be a good one to catch.
Have you been to the EFF yet?