Film 106: “West Side Story”

“An intermission, how wonderful! And I love the china cups”

An audience of 43 watched the rivalry between the Sharks and the Jets develop working their way through a variety of well known songs. It was lovely to meet up with our Volunteers and regulars in our audience again, as well meet some new guests. Most came from Billericay itself, but we had people travel from Chelmsford, Hutton, Brentwood and Downham.

After a trial show in July (after a gap of 483 days since the last film … but who’s counting ?) to see how to use the facilities in the new Billericay Town Council Chantry Centre we officially returned on the 5th August with “West Side Story”.

Here’s a snippet of the showing in the Chantry Centre with some great music.

The new Chantry Centre hall is certainly different to the Library; the taller ceiling ensures that everyone can see all of the screen all of the time; the setup time for our intrepid Volunteers is significantly reduced and – best of all for them – there are no stairs to lug heavy equipment, boxes of supplies, blackout curtains and gold poles up and down !

One change we’ve introduced is contactless payments, having acquired to Zettle card readers. Whilst we do still accept cash giving customers the option to pay with a wide variety of cards (including Apple Pay) makes sense and through maintaining counts of sales makes the post-show reconciliation process a darn sight easier.

Here’s Mark working the “cash desk” – with the iPads and card readers it looks more like a setting from the Starship Enterprise (OK, you have to squint your eyes a bit, but you get the idea)

Whilst numbers are slightly lower we’re using tables with our new tablecloths (they arrived the morning of the show !). We’ve purchased these primarily for our Sunday Matinee shows which will be set around “a cuppa, a slice of cake, a natter and a film” and we think they’ll look great.

Over the next few months we’ve got some great films lined up for both our Film Thursday and Sunday Matinee shows – from 2017’s “Darkest Hour” with an Oscar winning performance from Gary Oldman, to 1942’s “Holiday Inn” (yes, we’re thinking of Christmas already!) and the sci-fi “Forbidden Planet” (1956). Please subscribe to our monthly newsletter to ensure you hear about our films first – the form is on the right hand side of this screen.

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