Not long now...
It’s just passed one year since we closed and what a year it’s been. When we shut our doors for the first time in our 25-year history it was an emotional time for the many people that keep our organisation running. From the box office teams that make your visits special, to the finance and operations teams that keep everything ticking along in the background. One year on, it does look like there is a light at the end of this long and unpredictable tunnel.
We’re busy developing a re-opening programme – there’s lots that we can’t announce just yet, but I’m excited about what it’s shaping up to be. We won’t be able to re-open until after most of the film awards have taken place, and although many of the nominated titles will be heading to streaming platforms, we are still planning on screening many of them for those of you hungry for bigger screens and collective viewing.
I’m a strong believer that streaming platforms and cinemas can find ways to work together to provide more access to a wider range of film for everyone. But I would be lying if I said that screening films that are already available online doesn’t pose a daunting risk. That said, as a cinema that prides itself on celebrating excellent films from around the world, there’s no question as to whether we’d share them.
Too easily distracted, I personally struggle to watch much online, so I’ll certainly be re-watching films like Nomadland, Sound of Metal and Minari from somewhere in the third row (we all have our favourite cinema seats). But it’s not just the lack of distractions and the plunging darkness that will draw me back. Many of these films benefit from the fanfare of the cinema: the ritual of selecting a dedicated time and buying your ticket: the mental preparation and building excitement. And then, the aftermath – time to sit with the credits while you let it all sink in, a drink in the bar (or three) whilst you unpack and repackage everything you saw and thought. It’s impossible to recreate anywhere else (I have been trying for 12 months now).
If you’re as eager as I am, I can assure you that there will be plenty to look forward to. We’ll be ready with big smiles, new beers, polished floors and a packed programme. If you would like to support us while we prepare, donations, vouchers and memberships are all available on our website.
This article first featured in the Sheffield Telegraph on Thursday 25 March 2021.