Dear Reader: Cinemas only showing ‘rubbish’ films nowadays

Graham Chalmers
Graham Chalmers

Column by the Harrogate Advertiser’s Graham Chalmers

Fingers crossed that when the Everyman cinema opens at the former site of Beales department store in Harrogate it puts a bit of the ‘arthouse’ back in arthouse cinema.

As recently as 20 years ago it was only slightly weird movies in French or Swedish which had to be tracked down like a rare species of bird.

Now almost anything not featuring children’s characters, goblins or superheroes is lucky to get more than a single screening at 10.30 on a Tuesday morning.

More interesting films also seem to have been squeezed out by broadcasts of opera and theatre from London or New York.

Hugely popular with an older audience, their ticket prices are often double that of a standard movie.

These are not the complaints, by the way, of some sort of film snob. I’m a big fan of Anchorman. And The Hangover.

But I do fear for the future of cinema. The last part of showbusiness that decided to go purely for the big, easy money was the record industry - and look what happened to that.

On meeting the WI...

I don’t usually fret before doing an interview but I was worried last week as I waited at the Pine Martin.

I was due to meet a member of the WI and I still remember what they did to Tony Blair when he was Prime Minister all those years ago.

In the event, my fears were groundless. Meeting a member of the local Spa Sweethearts, one of the younger branches of this formidable national organisation, was a real pleasure.

The young woman sitting across from me fitted neither the new idea of the WI as trendy radicals pushed by historian Lucy Worsley, nor the tired, old ‘Jam and Jerusalem’ stereotype.

In one way this member of the WI was as formidable as the ladies’ traditional reputation, however.

For the entire duration of the time she kindly spent answering my questions, she was also looking after her 16-month-old son.