Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Tyneside Cinema

Last night Patsy123 and I went to the Tyneside Cinema for a free opening night. It opens to the public on 22nd May, but last night we were given drinks, a free showing of IRON MAN, and a chance to look round the newly refurbished cinema.

IRON MAN was excellent, and it was worth waiting until the end of the (very long) credits for the extra teaser, even if we were amongst only a half dozen to do so.

The refurbishment of the cinema is a triumph, however. The original 1930s look has been retained and enhanced by uncovering glass mosaic floors and hand-painting the ornate plaster work. There are now three screens, all with good comfortable seats and lots of leg-room. The extra screen was accommodated by fitting in an extra floor, a difficult thing to do in a listed building in a conservation area.

We got to look round the digital film-making and editing suites and the for-hire Digital Lounge where they were showing a tremendous video piece by Daniel Shiffman based on the movie, RUN LOLA RUN. They could accommodate only a 20 min section of it, but it was still great. Basically, each image on the screen is one frame behind (or ahead) of its left (or right or up or down) neighbour. In theory it's possible to watch the whole film by concentrating on one frame, but in effect it becomes impossible - you become entranced by the shifting patterns. Amazing! This is what video installation should be.

Run Lola Run Lola Run Lola Run Lola Run from shiffman on Vimeo.


JafaBrit's Art said...

I will look forward to seeing it when I come to visit home later this year. It was always a fave place of mine and I am excited to see it refurbished.
I used to be an usherette at the odeon across the street before it was converted (that's going back aways lol) and at the Queens. Last time I was home I saw they had closed most of the cinemas in the town.

Mr Zip said...

I'm sure you'll like the new Tyneside. But you're right about the other cinemas. Apart from the Tyneside, there's only the Empire multi-screen in The Gate complex on Newgate Street (next door to the Co-op).