“Well done, the best night out I’ve had in ages”.

Thursday 9th February saw us showing the classic Film Noir from 1946 – The Big Sleep. We’d sold out of this quite a while in advance which was incredibly pleasing given that we thought we’d have an audience of about 30. Instead a massive 61 people sat and watched Humphrey Bogart in his Philip Marlowe role with a great performance by co-star Lauren Bacall.


Guests arrived to check in via Philip Marlowe’s office, equipped with telephone and typewriter (remember those?).



Marlowe’s favourite “Old Forester” whisky (I’m told it was cold tea; I refused to believe this!) sat beside period cigarettes, matchbook and camera.

Thank you to the kind people who lent us many of these props – and to “the internet” for instructions how to make the cigarette and match boxes!

Our guests are regularly asked to provide ratings for the film and the evening as a whole. For The Big Sleep the average score for the film was a healthy 9.3 with the evening a lovely 9.5 .

The white outline of a dead body on the carpet was dramatic and stood out well (although my wife laughed as she traced around my nose whilst I was lying on the floor ….), and the art work (below), created especially for the event, was proudly displayed on stands to the sides of the main screen.  We even had an offer from someone to buy one of the pictures!

Our volunteers, who had dressed up for the occasion, enjoyed spending time with our guests explaining more about the cinema to first time visitors and welcoming our regulars back again.


36 teas were sold (a record – and well done to Linda for keeping up with demand! The 17 period cocktails made by our mixologist Pete sold well too: the Live Feed on Facebook of Pete making a Gibson has (in about 18 hours) had a reach of over 5,000 people. Facebook members can see it here

Although we had a technical glitch where we lost sound and caused (indirectly) by our new laptop, we did appreciate the feedback from one of our customers : “Brilliant – even with the technical issues which you handled so well”. That, I think is the beauty of Community Cinema. We’re not professionals and nobody expects you to be perfect. Occasionally we will have a problem – but how you handle it is really important. (For those that are interested, the problem has been identified as a second laptop trying to talk to our amp via Bluetooth whilst our new laptop was running .. the solution was easy : disable Bluetooth on the amp which we don’t use). Fortunately we recovered quickly and the film restarted.

One customer was incredibly enthusiastic about the film – she was a great Bogart fan but had never seen The Big Sleep on TV, let alone on the Big Screen.

We loved the evening – from the early stages of the film where the comedy comes through, creating ripples of laughter in the audience, to the “gasps” as our interval was timed to perfection at a particularly tense moment and the subsequent buzz in the Library during the interval as our guests chatted away.

That, my friends is Community Cinema.



Related Article


  1. Nikki Howchen-Reeve 11th February 2017

    Who was the artist of the work on display? Do they sell the work? Would love one or two of the ones on display they're amazing x

    1. admin 11th February 2017

      Hi Nikki - will email you direct.