So you’ve arrived in Nottingham, survived Fresher’s week and had the challenge of staying awake in your first post-summer lectures. It’s therefore about time you sat back and unwound by watching a film – but where do you go?
Firstly, you don’t have to look far as the University of Nottingham has two film based societies; The Silver Screen for your fix of the latest mainstream movies and the alternative Dark Celluloid. Holding weekly film showings in Hallward Library’s Screening Room and with a membership fee of just a mere £3 this should be one of the first things you sign up for at Freshers’ Fayre. Or if that isn’t enough, alternatively you could just create your own film by signing up with Nottingham’s Film Making Society.
As for actual cinemas, if you are one of the many new residents of University Park the closest port of call would be Showcase. Located on a retail park that looks like the setting of a George A. Romero film, the multiplex has had a something of a bad reputation amongst our contributors; the Dunkirk-based cinema has frequently suffered from technical problems during showings, from flickering lights to roaming attendants making the place a nightmare for cinemagoers. However, with the cinema’s policy of distributing refund tickets, just like the misguided teens of a horror movie, students might just find themselves returning for a sequel or two.
Moving a little further afield, The Savoy cinema in Lenton provides the perfect alternative outlet to satisfy your mainstream cinema needs. It really couldn’t be a more perfect venue; from the old fashioned show times’ board right down to the retro red velvet seats The Savoy’s aesthetic is the archetypal image of the cinematic picture house. However, the incredibly cheap ticket prices (NUS £3.80) leaves the little independent cinema constantly swarming with students, so it’s probably worth booking in advance if you’re considering taking advantage of Orange Wednesdays.
As for Nottingham Town centre, located in the upper reaches of the poorly titled Cornerhouse (it’s not really on a corner) you can find Nottingham’s Cineworld. The cinema is your typical multiplex; it is big, flashy and overpriced. Furthermore, as an added knife in the back it lacks the customary video arcade so you’ll have to seek elsewhere for a game of Air Hockey or Time Crisis 3.
All is not lost, though. Hidden away on Broad Street in Hockley, art house cinema Broadway has become a second home for Nottingham’s avid cinephiles. With an interior that captures the faux eighties sheen of Drive and a downstairs bar that wouldn’t be amiss in JJ Abrams’ USS Enterprise; if The Savoy is the homely, classic example of a cinema theatre, Broadway is its slick, aviator-wearing cousin. What’s more, the staff are more than happy to let you take your alcoholic beverage into the screening room with you.
The powers that be at Broadway are devoted to showcasing an eclectic assortment of films (from mainstream blockbusters to indie foreign films) as well as holding various monthly events, such as free screenings in the bar and a film quiz. And for a different cinema experience in the recently added ‘Lounge Room’, a small screening room designed to look like a sixties living room, you can enjoy a movie while submerged in a beanbag, lying on a sofa or, if you’re fast enough, in an egg chair (every time I’ve been someone’s beaten me to it). Additionally, in late October Broadway hosts the Mayhem Horror Film Festival, celebrating the weird, comical and the dark recesses of the horror genre, which is a must for any scary movie fan.
And finally, down the road from Broadway you can find the fabled Screen 22. Heralded as “the smallest cinema in Europe”, the 22-seat cinema is one of just a minute few locations in the UK to have Active 3D. Screen 22 hosts a mixture of old and new release, as well as holding an audience-picked film every weekend that can be voted for via the cinema’s Twitter and Facebook account.