Why would anyone go to see a film in a library?

My wife and I went to see Slumdog Millionaire at Billericay Library for three reasons: we’d not seen the film before; we wanted to see how on earth the library could be transformed into the Billericay Community Cinema; and we were keen to support what sounded like a great local initiative. We didn’t really know what to expect – but it was a super evening. The film was great, and it would have been great wherever we saw it. So what made the experience so special?

The welcome was warm and friendly, and the sheer enthusiasm of the organisers and volunteers made for a lovely atmosphere. Various goodies were on offer – confectionery, local beers, tea and coffee out of proper china cups! With saucers!

The Billericay Street Pastors had a stand (not that the audience needed their services) and it was nice just to have a chat to them about their excellent work. The intention is to showcase local groups at film showings – a great idea to both inform and involve the community.

Even though we’re an old married couple, we went for the back row seats – which were comfortable two seater affairs, with plenty of leg- room.  The screen was big, and sound and picture quality good. And there was something unique about the setting – it was intimate yet collective, very relaxed and everyone seemed totally absorbed in the film. There was a short interval – an inspired idea, so people could mingle and re-charge their glasses (or cups and saucers!).

Go to Billericay Community Cinema if you want a different experience. It’s run by the community for the community, it’s a unique shared evening at a very reasonable cost (and you won’t get overcharged for your bag of sweets). It’s not there to compete with the local multiplex – but you’ll have an enjoyable local evening out.

Chris Holland

18 November 2015

Related Article