A couple of weeks ago I went to see The Trip To Italy with a live streamed Q&A with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. During said interview, Steve Coogan took time to say hello to the Duke of York's Picturehouse, the cinema I was watching in, which received a massive wave of applause. That's right, Alan Partridge loves the Duke of York's almost as much as I do. And it's not just Coogan, musician and all round legend Nick Cave has popped his head in more than a few times and John Hillcoat, who collaborated with Cave on Lawless is a regular too. You get stars in the cinema as well as on the big screen.
Everyone remembers their first time. Mine, was the “Alternative Christmas Film”. That year it happened to be Die Hard. I know, seeing Die Hard on the big screen...At Christmas! If that's not the best cinema ever I don't know what is. And yes – the audience did erupt when McClane said “Yippee-Ki-Yay Motherfucker” and it was a beautiful moment. Code of conduct, what code of conduct?
There is something for everyone: Discover Tuesdays showcases the indie films that are hard to find; The Silver Screen show means that those aged over 60 can join the Silver Screen club for free, and get free tea or coffee and biscuits at this screening and you can even catch the odd classic with Duke's After Dark.. The – aptly named - Big Scream gives new mothers an opportunity to view the latest films with their babies (under 12 months) in the company of other mothers and screaming little ones in the good knowledge that they’re not ruining anybody else’s film.
And the staff have a clear and avid passion of films and know what they're doing. Sure, there's technical hitches, but they know how to fix them. They know the difference between digital and 35mm and they give bloody good film recommendations.
It's the oldest cinema in the UK, yet it has managed to combine the old and the new sublimely and although you may pay a little more than mainstream cinemas it’s definitely worth every penny. It couldn't be anywhere but Brighton. It's found its audience and its running with it and I wish it all the success in the world because unlike other cinemas, they're not cynical. They care about films and they have as big a passion for films as their audience do.
Check it out, because without it, I don't think I'd be an aspiring film journalist.