Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Mystery Film 25

Congratulations to David and Stephen on Facebook who knew that last week's film was Disney's Mulan.

Based on the chinese legend of Hua Mulan, a woman who took her aged father's place in the chinese army and fought successfully for many years, the Disney film features the voice talent of Eddie Murphy as the small but firey dragon, Mushu. Jackie Chan provides his voice for the character of Li Shang (the son of the Chinese General) in the chinese dub of the film, as well as singing one of the songs "I'll Make a Man Out of You" in a music video which features as an extra on the DVD release. George Takei, of Star Trek fame, also has a small speaking role in the film as one of Mulan's ancestors.

What do you think this week's film might be?

You can submit your answers via facebook, twitter, or as comments right here on the blog.


Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Mystery Film 24

Apparently some of you got a sinking feeling when you saw last week's picture... congratulations to those of you who knew that meant last week's film was the watery classic, Titantic. Rounds of applause go to Stephen on facebook.

Described as "an epic romantic disaster film" James Cameron's Titantic smashed through box office records like the iceberg smashed through the ill-fated ocean liner's hull. It was the highest grossing film of all time until its record was beaten by Cameron's own film, Avatar, in 2010. The footage at the opening of the film, of the Titantic at the bottom of the ocean, was shot by on an expedition funded by Cameron in 1995, before he pitched the idea of the film to 20th Century Fox, the studio behind Titantic.

Here's this week's film. What do you make of it?

Submit your answers in the usual fashion; via facebook, twitter or blog.

Happy guessing!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Mystery Film 23

Last week's film proved a challenge for some, but I was very impressed with those of who you did recognise it - it was a particularly difficult image. Congratulations to Stephen on the blog and Katie and Zena on facebook who correctly spotted it was Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World's End.

At World's End is the third in the series of Pirates of the Caribbean films, based on the popular theme park rides at various Walt Disney theme parks. Currently, there are four films in the series, with another two supposedly planned for back-to-back production (which is how the second and third films were shot).
Here's this week's film, a little easier I hope; what do you make of it?

Answers in the usual way please; blog comments, twitter or facebook.

Happy guessing!

Monday, 14 May 2012

Bringing a little cinema to you - our 8mm projector

We've had a bit of interest about that 8mm projector that we mentioned in our talks and presentations post last week, so we thought we'd tell you a little more about it.

You may remember a time when VHS video tapes were the method of watching films at home, in the days before DVDs. In the days before that, the home projector ruled the territory of at-home film-watching. There were various types of projectors that you could buy, which took different sizes and types of film.

By far the most common home film projectors showed a type of film called Super 8. This was one of a few different types of 8mm film (that's film which is 8mm wide - film in cinemas is usually 35mm, or 35mm wide). Our projector is one of those; it'll also show Single 8 film too, another type of 8mm film that preceded Super 8.

Many home films were black and white and silent, however some would be in colour and have sound. The film you can see projecting here, which is a celebration of 50 years of Mickey Mouse (recognise the Sorceror's Apprentice?) is in colour with sound.

We've collected a few titles that we can show to demonstrate how these home projectors worked to school and educational groups. They're a mixture of sound, silent, black and white and colour. These include cartoon favourites such as Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh and the Flintstones, as well as a short film of one of Laurel and Hardy's adventures.

Feature-length films were impractical to show on small projectors like these and would have been very expensive, so instead film manufacturers would sell short clips of their feature films on 8mm film. We've collected examples from Disney's Pinocchio and Bambi.

If you're interested in having us demonstrate the 8mm projector for your group, let us know! We're happy to include a short talk about the Regal, film and projectors, the history of British cinemas or any combination thereof to give the projector some context. Some showings can even be provided for free, depending on the titles you wish to view, what type of group you are and how far away from us you're located.

For details of the films we can show, the types of groups we can show them to, distances we'll travel, dates we're free, costs involved and so on, get in touch. We're happy to chat about your requirements and see what we can do for you.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Talks and presentations: bringing the Regal to you

As well as keeping you in touch with the Regal's history and restoration online, the HLF project has also allowed for the creation of some talks and presentations which our staff and volunteers can bring out to you. If you're a community group, school, or similar then we'll be pleased to come along to your meetings and deliver a talk about the Regal and/or the restoration project.

Talks last approximately 45min for either Regal history or Regal restoration, or we can just about squeeze the highlights of both into an hour (if we talk really fast!). We'll provide a laptop and a projector for the presentation, we just ask that you make sure there's a screen or blank white wall to project onto, and a couple of plug sockets somewhere nearby (cups of tea are very much appreciated also!). We can adapt our talks for groups of any age, ability or prior knowledge, just let us know the requirements of your group and we'll do what we can.

We're also in the process of developing some digital resources for educational groups which will be launching in September 2012, as well as special activity sessions and projects about film, cinema and the Regal. We even have an 8mm projector and some short films, silent and sound, which we can demonstrate for your group. Ever wanted to see Mickey Mouse or Winnie the Pooh on Super 8 film? Now's your chance!

If you're interested in having us come and chat to you, even if it's something a bit different to the talks described above, just get in touch by email letting us know what you need and we'll do what we can to help you out.

We're looking forward to hearing from you soon!

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Mystery Film 22

Congratulations to Zena and Richard on Facebook, who knew last week's mystery film was of course the Disney classic 'The Lion King'. Featuring award-winning score by Hans Zimmer with songs from Elton John and Tim Rice and now a West End and Broadway musical, The Lion King is consistently voted one of the world'd favourite Disney films of all time. the first Disney film to be written as an original story rather than being heavily based on one inspirational work, it is the highest-grossing hand-drawn film to date from any studio.

So, what do you make of this week's mystery film?

Answers in the usual forms please; on the blog here, on facebook or on twitter.

Happy guessing!

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Restoration: Return of the Seats!

As promised, we popped into the Regal again this week to take some more photographs now that the seats are back in the auditorium. Obviously we're a little biased, but we really think it's looking fabulous in there now.

Not wanting to give away too much, here's a couple of photographs from inside the auditorium.

We also promised you some photographs of the front of the building, and we wouldn't want to renage on that promise so here you go:

On both photos you can see the fabulous new detailing on the upper two floors of the cinema. You'll also be able to spot the tube in the grooves on the columns; this is the start of the neon lighting going in.

We hope you've enjoyed this sneak peak... look for more coming soon as more areas of the cinema are completed! 

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Mystery film: 21

Congratulations to all our correct guessers from last week! As Stephen, Katya and David on Facebook knew, the film was, of course, Mary Poppins.

One of the most classic live-action Disney films, Mary Poppins is equally famous for Julie Andrew's 'practically perfect' portrayal of the musical nanny, the film's wonderful music and Dick Van Dyke's terrible cockney accent. The film is now a Broadway and West End musical.

Here's this week's film! Can you tell what it is?

Answers in the usual method please; on the facebook page, twitter or here in the blog comments.


A Short History of the Regal Tenbury Wells - now available through Amazon Kinde store!

We're very pleased to announce that a short booklet on the history of the cinema is now available via Amazon Kindle store. A shorter, paper version will also be available later in the year, and a more comprehensive hard copy version will be available to buy in mid-2013.

From the opening night of the cinema in 1937, through the golden years of cinema in the UK to the decline of cinema and the rise of the multiplexes, the short e-booklet follows the fortunes of the Regal over the years. Interested in knowing how many cinemas there were around Tenbury in 1942 compared to today, or in what year UK cinema audiences reached their peak? Then you need to read this booklet!

The booklet is available on Amazon here, where you can view a free sample of the beginning of the book. Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the e-booklet is provided to you at the lowest price Amazon will allow. All profits from the sale of the e-booklet go towards future learning and engagement work at the Regal.

Also, a reminder; if you're a writer and you'd like to be involved in any of our literary projects, check out our call-for-writers blog post here where you can find out more about adding your written works to our future fiction and non-fiction publications. 

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Introducing... the virtual Regal!

The time has come at last when we can pull back the curtains and reveal the start of our exciting web project; the virtual Regal!

Clicking over to the Regal online will take you straight to the opening page of our new website. The virtual Regal is an online representation of the cinema which, when complete, will contain photographs, written memories and oral histories of the Regal, all as told by real people.

The full website will continue to grow over the coming months as we unlock doors into the cinema itself and start to reveal to you some of the fascinating stories that we've captured so far. If you'd like to contribute to our collection of memories then you'll find an easy link to do so in the website's memory reel. We'd love to hear from you, whether you remember the Regal on its opening day or six months ago, or anything in between! Stories and memories from its life as a cinema, a theatre or any other function (yoga classes in the community centre? a visit to the hairdressers or cake shop at the front?) are all very welcome!

We hope you enjoy exploring the website. We'll keep you up to date through the blog as we upload new content.