Filmic folk and cinephiles are aplenty here in Faversham and rightly so; we can’t boast of having a regal old cinema in the form of The Royal without having a society of equal regency and prestige.
CommunityAd, with that firmly in mind, caught up with Jane from Faversham Film Society who reminded us that the “tremendous community spirit” is alive and well here in Faversham. But she warns that businesses like The Royal need support, stating “For those (businesses) that survived this unprecedented time it is still a struggle to stay afloat and the old adage “use it or lose it” is more true than ever”.
The Royal is very special – a magnificent old-style cinema (a very rare example of its kind these days) with an enormous amphitheatre and an enormous screen. But the picture quality and sound are state of the art. Where better to experience the magic of cinema than in this fabulous temple to art and entertainment!
How was lockdown for the society? Did you indulge in the dreaded Zoom at all?
Lockdown pretty much put the Film Society into abeyance although the committee continued to monitor and attempt to see new films being released even if they popped up across all sorts of different platforms. With over 100 members Zoom wasn’t an option. Like hedgehogs we just decided to hibernate and wait for spring!
After a prolonged period of relying purely on streaming services for our movie fix, how nice has it been to get back into those special darkened rooms with no distractions, just pure escapism?
The first time back inside The Royal was wonderful – like coming home. Some people were apprehensive about being back inside but the space is so large and the social distancing measures so reassuring I think we all soon relaxed. Finally, the lights dimmed and there was that familiar excitement as the huge screen in the darkness suddenly filled with light and colour. You don’t really get that on a home screen no matter how large; there are always distractions, the temptation to pause or check your phone too great.
Why should cinephiles amongst our readership consider joining the society?
Faversham Film Society’s remit is to show the best of British, American and world cinema, films that don’t always get a wide showing. For cinephiles this is a must. As a member you get the programme sent to you, reminders a few days before each film and film notes for extra background. And then you have the pleasure of being part of an important cultural resource. Not many towns the size of Faversham have such an amazing independent cinema right in the heart of town. Easy parking and lots of lovely pubs to repair to afterwards to discuss the films.
In your opinion what is the ultimate Christmas film and why?
A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood is a good film so close to Christmas with its message of love and forgiveness. (Screening on 6th December)
But Ultimate Christmas Films? People often pick It’s a Wonderful Life, the James Stewart heart-warmer. I personally love Trading Places with a drunk Dan Ackroyd in a Father Christmas outfit and Eddie Murphy at his best. And years ago, I remember The Film Society showed the wonderful Hudsucker Proxy as our Christmas film. Set in the run up to Christmas it is a whirlwind of fun and as we emerged from the cinema it was snowing, so that’s a favourite too.
In conclusion – what are you waiting for? Come back and see real movies in a real cinema with other real people. It’s the way it ought to be!
We have 3 seasons of films a year with about 6-7 films each time. Our current season runs to December. The full programme is on the website.