* UPDATE 230117: Asher Charman and Danielle Swift, above, tell Loving Dalston they are working to open the Castle Cinema by the end of this month January 2017
* UPDATE 280316: A few days head of the deadline, the project to reopen the Castle Cinema has exceeded its crowdfunding target by several hundred pounds. Charman and Swift will raise the target to £55,000 to allow more people to become stakeholders.
A FREE FILM session this Easter weekend will be the first screening in the Castle cinema in Homerton (or Clapton, if you will) for more than 50 years.
The cinema in Homerton? It’s an old one being revived. If you’ve somehow missed the publicity, you might like to know that it was built a century ago as one of the smaller of Hackney’s multitude of moviehouses. It closed in 1958, when the spread of television was luring the nation back into its living room.
Asher Charman who, with Danielle Swift, has been popping up around London with Pillow Cinema and Hot Tub Cinema (both pretty well what the names imply), fell in love with the interior, which was mouldering away in the back quarters of the Spa store, Eat17 restaurant and bar in E5.
He told Loving Dalston: “We [he and Swift’s not-for-profit business] have a strong community focus. For example, we’ve held school screenings and sessions at Sutton House [the Tudor house in Homerton].”
They are raising money with a Kickstarter campaign to restore the theatre to show art-house and indy movies, classics, singalongs and film festivals, as well as to run sessions for pensioners, and for parents and babies. Wenlock Hall, the Homerton venue known for Sutton House Music Society’s high-value classical-music concerts, has become a temporary home for the Castle. (Press for Sutton House screenings.)
The historic manor house and Eat17 have lent chairs for the first screening in the Castle, which will be of a rare 30-minute 1979 documentary on the history of cinema in the East End.
A question-and-answer session and an introduction to the history and future of the Castle Cinema will follow.
David Altheer 240316
* The free opening sessions will be at the Castle Cinema, 64 Brooksby’s Walk, Hackney E9 6DF, on Sun 27 Mar 2016, Mon 28 Mar 2016, at 2pm, 4pm and 6pm. Free. Eat17 bar will be open. No wheelchair access yet but the staircase to the cinema is wide.
* All pictures on this page have been supplied.
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