Call to arms to support your local cinema

Outside of Exmouth Scott's Cinema

Exmouth Cinema - Credit: Google Maps

I love a bit of local history and a few days ago I came across a thread on an Exmouth Past and Present Facebook group that fascinated me. I wish I’d known the Exmouth that is often described on this page: a bustling town centre, a zoo, a railway that extended to places other than stations to Exeter and a variety of public buildings from theatres to picture-houses. Walking around town today it seems almost unbelievable that we could have had not just one, but four cinemas in Exmouth. These days it’s an achievement that we’ve managed to retain the one picture-house, particularly as so much that we used to have disappeared with the sands of time.

What is it about a trip to the flicks that I love the most? Is it the snacks from the foyer (calories don’t count when you’re in a cinema)? The darkened room and the surround sound? The film itself? Or maybe it’s the trailers for all the other delights coming to a screen near us? It’s all of that together and more. It’s spending time with family or friends, discussing what you thought of it all afterwards, it’s sharing an experience with a room full of people. Widely touted as the post-pandemic saviour of UK cinemas, the latest Bond film is now showing at the Scott cinema in town. We went to watch it last weekend and whilst I have never been a massive Bond fan, I have to say I did enjoy it. Considering it comes in at around the three-hour mark, I was impressed with myself for making it all the way to the end without a nap. It was lovely to see the place so full of people too. There must have been times in the last couple of years when cinemas the length and breadth of the country wondered if they’d ever be able to open their doors again. However, there are a few Covid legacies that I must say work really well for me in these situations though. Each group booking tickets are separated on the row by an empty seat. A spare chair for your coat and bag, no jostling for an arm rest or awkwardly trying not to touch the complete stranger that you’re sitting next to. I think we should keep this in place going forward, no?

It is exciting to realise that after the unplanned hiatus forced upon us, there are lots of great films being released in the next couple of months… So this is a call to arms for the people of Exmouth! Get yourself a What’s On listing and pick a film you fancy. Immerse yourself in the storytelling, it’s great escapism for a couple of hours and it’s so important to be supporting our local cinema so that future generations can do the same. Nobody wants to be looking back in 20 years’ time saying ‘who remembers when Exmouth actually had a cinema’.

I’ll see you in the queue for the popcorn.

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