This week I went to see “Jersey Boys”. It was amazing. (This is my whole review of the film. Just amazing. That’s all you need to know. But if you want another opinion, I recommend Dan the Man).
You may have noted that I’m a little behind the times in seeing this film as it was released some weeks back. Well my friends, there is a very good reason that I held off until now, which is that I was waiting for it to appear at my favourite cinematic establishment, the Rex.
The Rex is a 100 year old picture house in Elland, West Yorkshire. From the outside, it doesn’t look like much, but there is a treasure trove inside waiting to be discovered. Walk with me.
Through the glass panelled doors, which stick slightly with age, a smiling face extends a welcome from behind the counter. Once tickets are purchased (at a very reasonable price. At least half the price of your regular cinema ticket), an array of neatly presented treats await your inspection. There’s the obligatory popcorn (sweet, obviously. We’re not animals), chocolate in all its forms, cans of pop and you can even get a hot brew. There is always an interval in the showings, so plenty of time to replenish the treats later on. Ice-cream is always a winner.
The Rex was built in 1912. After over half a century of success, turbulence and closure, the cinema was given a new lease of life with a full refurbishment in 1988. The décor in the entrance is respectful of the history of the building. You can almost picture a 1920s couple, resplendent in their fedoras and fur cloaks, excitedly purchasing tickets for the latest Hollywood picture. The dark, wooden panelling is adorned with black and white photographs in heavy frames. There is a collection of old cinematic paraphernalia, carefully displayed and informatively labelled. Its part cinema, part museum. Very interesting for any film enthusiast.
Inside the auditorium there is a gentle sloping incline that looks down onto the smaller than usual screen. The red curtain exudes a charming warmth reminiscent of a theatre rather than a cinema. On this particular visit, we were treated to extra entertainment before the film and during the interval in the form of an organist. Very vintage-carousel-a-la-Blackpool-Pleasure-Beach. Have you ever seen an organist play live? Even if can’t get on board with the hollow pipe sounds and the oom pah of the bassline, watching an organist play is most fascinating.
So there you have it. That’s why I think the Rex is just brilliant. Its just a gorgeous night out. Its a rare, independent gem, worth digging out every now and again as an antidote to our busy modern cinemas. Its so perfect for avoiding the rush, if you enjoy watching films but are not too bothered about being the first person to see it and/or have a low tolerance to overproduced, over amplified noise levels. Hearing aid/ old lady jokes welcome on a postcard.
For the latest releases and film schedule at Rex Cinema click here.
Photographs of Rex are mine.
Jersey Boys pic from imbd.com