Thursday 11th July saw a record audience of 70 watch the classic British 1969 film “The Italian Job”. A brilliant film at any time, but especially now in its 50th Anniversary year. At the end of the evening our audience rated the film 98% putting it equal first, along with our Buster Keaton evening, “The Ladykillers” and “To Kill a Mockingbird”.
We’d decided that since this was a (and possibly even “the”) classic British film a little bit of patriotic fervour was in order. Union Jacks were called for. Lots of Union Jacks!
Our volunteers excelled in putting up two huge flags, each 1.8 metres by 2.75 metres, placed either side of the screen with another ten flags (1m x 1.5m) and 20 metres of Union Jack bunting decorating the Library. We did wonder whether we’d gone over the top… Of course not, you can never have enough Union Jacks – and we think the audience agreed when they gave us an average 99% rating for the evening overall (bettered only by 2017’s “White Christmas”.
Setup was a little more complicated than normal with the Library in the midst of having its entire heating system replaced. With the Children’s Library closed off, all of its sofas and bookstores were in the middle of the floor and needed to be moved before we could start. You would not believe how heavy some of those bookstores were!
By 6:55pm a healthy queue had built up outside – a light shower that had been predicted fortunately failed to appear.
The evening began with the ever popular Chris Holland returning to entertain with his saxophone and some topical British hits. We were lucky: as an “artiste”, Chris normally insists on a large supply of Revels chocolates … but we’d forgotten to buy any! Fortunately he dealt with this awful omission calmly and professionally and agreed to carry on.
We then welcomed back Andrew Schrader to give one of his illuminating and always appreciated talks about the film and how it was made. Danny Lawrence from our Show Sponsor Gateway 97.8FM then reminisced about Matt Monro whose song “On Days Like These” provides the extended intro for the film.
We had some special guests too – 3 gentlemen (or that’s what they claimed) from the Billericay Round Table who are competing in this year’s “Skinflint Rally – The Italian Job” where they’ll be racing in a Rover 75 from the UK to Turin. They spent £300 to buy it and are allowed a maximum £800 to buy, repair, tune and enhance the car. They’d come to see the film to “get in the zone” as well as experience for themselves what a @BillericayCine “Film Thursday” was all about. Accounts of their preparations are on Facebook here, and if you’d like to sponsor them, can you can so here.
We then launched into another offering from one of Billericay’s fine “service groups” with the first showing on the Big Screen of the Rotary Club of Billericay’s “Soapbox Derby” highlights. Judging by the “ooos” and “ahhhs” from the audience this went down very well – though we were unsure whether our friends from the Round Table learnt more from “The Italian Job” …. or this !!!!
Our cocktails proved popular – “Charlie Croker’s Classy Concoction” (right)included Prosecco and Strawberry Pimm’s with a Hint of Mint and “Mohito Mafioso” (left) included muddled strawberries, lime juice, fresh mint and topped with Sprite.
Thanks to our Season Sponsor, Aspen Home Improvements and to our Show Sponsor, community radio station Gateway 97.8FM
Below are a few more photos from the evening: