Sunday, August 06, 2006


You know what I feel like right now? No, don't you roll your eyes at me. It's not another drink, although that would be nice too. No, I'd like to stroll, hand in hand with the Boy to my local cinema and settle down to a nice Sunday evening flick. Arty or blockbuster, I don't much care. Perhaps Confederate States of America, that might be interesting. Or maybe Cars, the new Pixar toon that the Boy wants see as he's an animator.

What's the problem I hear you say? You can hop in the car and nip to Vue at Cribbs Causeway, a mere 20 minute drive away. Or Showcase, in the other direction. Yeah, s'pose. But I don't want to. I don't want to drive anywhere. I want to walk to my local cinema and then afterwards, perhaps have a cup of coffee somewhere local. I don't want to go to a big featureless out of town box that's going to show me 30 minutes of ads and be playing the latest Sandra Bullock on all 10 screens.

I want the Whiteladies Picture House. Built in 1921, it's a gorgeous Art Deco building, at least from the outside. (I have never been inside) It entertained Bristolians for about 70 years before being closed down, not long before I moved to Bristol. It was owned by the Odeon chain. No problem right? They'll restore it and open it up as a nice local art house catering to students and the local Cliftonians and Cothamists. Hah! It was sold to a developer with a restrictive covenant imposed by Odeon preventing it being used a cinema. So now, what I presume was the lobby is a restaurant/bar called The Picture House, about which I have heard good things (but that's a matter for Bristol Foodie) And the rest is boarded up and disused. I believe there were plans to turn it into a gym which seem to have come to nothing, largely I believe due to a vociferous local campaign to bring back the Picture House, although I may be wrong about this.

Time for another drink. And then a perhaps a walk to the video shop.


Anonymous Belchmaster said...

what about the Watershed or the Cube or the Orpheus?
They're all within walking distance of your place!

11:55 PM  
Blogger Blue in Bristol said...

The Watershed is an arts cinema as is The Cube (which anyway doesn't show films that often anymore)
The Orpheus sucks. It's tiny, it has no a/c, the only drinks you can buy are Virgin Cola. It also tends to show second run stuff.

Somtimes I want a cinema which shows mainstream ish stuff, thats within walking distance. The Watershed and The Cube are great, but i don't always wnat to see subtitles Croatian cinema. Sometimes I want Jaws VI.

8:59 PM  
Anonymous belchmaster said...

ooh, you're so fussy

11:28 PM  
Anonymous owllover said...

the thing about the whitladies odeon was that it was so close and handy to a) where you lived and b) to a decent pub / bar to have a drink / chat before and after the show without having to contend with hordes of people after the show either in the centre of town or at some out of town faceless edifice. I was lucky to have arrived in Bristol for a couple of years before it shut down and loved going. It was almost a nostalgic experience as you entered the smelly run down badly decorated flea pit with last years popcorn still stuck between the seats and the carpet - OOOOH I miss it too! - Bring back the Odeon!

11:20 AM  
Anonymous owlover said...

ps. I also miss the little brass cuplets that you used to stub your fag out in or stuff your chewing gum in before ravaging a huge tub of popcorn!

11:22 AM  
Anonymous belchmaster said...

An almost sensuous experience.
The Duke of Yorks in Brighton had
some dodgy broken seats, and one whole row that everyone avoided which was wobbly. They sold lush dark choccy cake and strong coffee in the foyer, to keep you awake through the small hours of the late-night double programme. We used to smoke prerolled little numbers up on the rear balcony too, but they soon put a stop to that!

11:54 PM  
Blogger Blue in Bristol said...

Siiighh. You see? Thats why i want to bring back the Whiteladies Odeon. Frankly the thought of going to the Odeon in the centre just gives me the willies. Who could possibly want to go to Broadmead unless they had to?

6:26 PM  
Anonymous belchmaster said...

err...the 'willies' ??

12:20 AM  
Anonymous musicman said...

yes it was nice - I should have gone more than I did really . shame that while it was open what is now , as you say , the rather nice picture house bar , was the unmitigated sh*thole that was the dog & duck . can't have everything I guess :) that is very poor of the odeon to be so dog-in-the-manger about it . corporate tossbags .

2:05 AM  
Anonymous belchmaster said...

Has Bristolgirl gone on holiday or something?

10:38 AM  

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