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New speakers boost independent cinema’s classic film programme

As a regular attendee at Blackpool’s incredible independent cinema, The Regent, my one criticism has been the sound quality. In the cinema’s defence, my recent adoption of reading glasses probably needs to be followed by a hearing test, but nevertheless the new projector’s picture quality enhancement has not  been matched  by better sound. So, it was with delight that I learnt that new speakers had been installed for the showing of Jaws back in March.

This is a classic film and memory from my growing up in the ’70s past. It was showing when I was about 12, was an 18 film and I was the only one in my class who hadn’t seen it. The mechanical shark is much derided now, but at the time was state of the art and people thought it was marvellous. My view is that all parts of the film stand up extremely well. I tend to compare it with the book, which I must have read say 25 times. The film is now classified 12A so I was able to take my son, who thought the film and the cinema was absolutely marvellous.

Anyway, oh yes, the sound! It was certainly a lot better: trailers that were just sonic mush the week before for Ken Loach’s Kes, were suddenly clear as a bell. However, there were still parts of Jaws I could not make out, usually when people were shouting at each other with hubbub in the background, never good for me. Overall a very welcome improvement. Apart from the recent showing of ‘This is Spinal Tap’, the numbers attending showings seems to grow week on week and the better sound is bound to help. This bearing in mind all the films have been on TV, but people are still turning out to see them on the big screen in a retro-theatre, with strangers. If we’re not careful we’ll be able to declare a community.

The coming weeks see assorted classics being screened with The Goonies on 4 May, Die Hard on 11 May and Rita, Sue and Bob Too 18 May. The Shorts at the Seaside Film Festival will take place on 20 May, before the current list concludes with The Breakfast Club on 25 May.

It looks like my wallet will be considerably lighter, as I do fancy seeing most of these and am bound to want to support the film festival.

The Regent really sets out to be more ‘ours’ than any chain can manage and is bang in the town centre on the corner of Church Street and Regent Road, convenient for buses and with a large car park directly opposite. It’s good to see Blackpool residents adopting an incredible independent cinema and getting behind its programme, also that the organisation behind it is willing to host charity and cultural events such as the film festival.

Did I mention that pop corn, hot dogs, alcoholic drinks and tea and coffee are all available from the snack bar at the back? Now I have!

  • I have worked in the housing and transport professions for several local authorities, specialising in policy, strategy preparation and bid writing. Having always had an interest in film, the visual arts in general, theatre, music and lterature, I thought it would be good to combine the writing experience with these interests to contribute to altBlackpool. In addition to writing, my hobbies include watercolour and pastel painting, photography, woodwork, cycling and vegetable gardening.

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