Wansteadium is delighted to confirm what should be one of the undoubted highlights of the Wanstead Fringe: the return of cinema to Wanstead!
For some years Wansteadium has harboured a desire to bring an open air family film to Wanstead, and that is exactly what is to happen on the evening of Friday 13 September when a screen will go up at Wanstead and Snaresbrook Cricket Club in Overton Drive.
It all seems like a decent way to mark the end of the first week back at school and at the same time cling on to the last vestiges of the summer of 2013. And by a curious coincidence, the event will mark – to the month – 100 years since cinema first came to Wanstead.
So we will be showing Despicable Me, the 2010 animated film starring Steve Carell. Bring cushions, picnic blankets, some nibbles, and perhaps a jumper as well. The club’s bar will be open, and lattes, cappuccinos and hot chocolates will be served from the boot of a VW Beetle. It will be an atmospheric and memorable evening for adults and minions alike.
Since we are expecting this to be a popular event, we recommend you go over to the Wanstead Fringe website and book tickets now so that you can be sure to get in. The site accepts cards and PayPal. Tickets are Â£5 for adults and Â£2 for children.
But why, you may be asking, is it Kinema? The answer lies in Wanstead’s own cinema which, according to the Cinema Treasures website, opened in October 1913. It was in what is now the former snooker hall next to the George (left), and though it was at first called the Wanstead Empire, it became the Kinema in 1930.
It closed in 1956 – its last film was Laurence Olivier in Richard III – and since then the building has been used as a bowling alley, a nightclub (“Night-owl”), a bingo hall, gym and now snooker hall.
So Wansteadium is proud of its Kinema project to bring back films to Wanstead. Like the Fringe itself, this is just a start – and with the right backing from the kind of people who read this blog, who knows what might happen?
Big thanks will be due to the officers of the Wanstead Cricket Club for their support, and to Petty Son and Prestwich for their serious generosity.