Sunday, 15 December 2013

A proper cinema

This is the Savoy Cinema, on Heaton Moor Road, Stockport, and I love it. A small independent cinema with about 460 seats, it opened in 1923 and is still going today.

As you can see by the foliage growing from the brickwork, it’s gone through thin times, battling for customers with the mighty, characterless and ugly multiplex cinemas only a short drive away.

The Savoy shows the latest films at modest prices and somehow I’d feel extraordinarily guilty if I were to take my custom elsewhere. It is a proper cinema experience. Described recently by The Guardian as “a wonderfully endearing timewarp”, it is old, cold and sometimes leaky. But for me its orange fun fur seats, shabby decor and vintage tickets (see bonus photo below) just add to the fun of it.

It suffered a ghastly makeover (I blame the 1970s) which unfortunately covered up its rather wonderful portico, adding nasty tiles and boxing in the frontage. Have a look here to see what it was like as recently as 1970. Ever the optimist, I’m rather hoping the original pillars are still intact, entombed within the modernisation.

I think the Savoy is still a bit of a well-kept secret, though I’ve noticed the audience seems to get bigger every time I visit. That said, we often manage to achieve the supreme prize of getting a full row to ourselves. Luxury.

See you there soon.

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