A couple of nights ago I was watching a rerun of Aliens, one of my all-time favourite movies. Film critics may wax lyrical about strong female protagonists, dynamic direction from James Cameron but for me, it’s a big, sexy, shoot ‘em up that I will never tire of. As I mouthed the dialogue along with the characters, I thought, I’d love to see this on the big screen. I wasn’t old enough to watch it in the cinema when it first came out, and even if I were, I’d have been too terrified but now, knowing what the twists and turns are, I’d love to see a 20ft high projection of the acidic alien and have Ripley hiss in Dolby Surround, “Get away from her, you bitch!”
Sometimes it seems the migration of enjoyment of films from the movie theatre to the home is all but complete, with DVDs, online streaming, even illegal downloads (which I have totally never, ever done). And that these days, cinemas are merely sausage factories, pumping out franchise movie after franchise movie with no love for our golden age of cinema, our cult classics and our masterpieces.
But dig a little deeper and you’ll find there are still places where movies are honoured as the treasures they are, places like the Everyman in Hampstead, a luscious cinema with table service, comfy sofa-like seating and a bar! Or the Prince Charles Cinema off Piccadilly Circus that has regular sing-along events (the most popular being their Sing-along-a-Sound Of Music) and often delves deep into movie history to give celluloid gems a much needed airing and Secret Cinema (which I can’t tell you about or I’d have to kill you). So, next time you’re sitting there, bored out of your skull watching The Fast and The Transformer Man of Steel Furious Hangover part 18, remember, there’s a whole other world of movie magic, waiting for you.