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Tyneside Cinema Celebrates 80th Anniversary

February 2017

This year marks Tyneside Cinema’s 80th Anniversary, and to commemorate this milestone, the historic cinema will be putting on an array of special events throughout the year.

The Cinema will draw on its heritage as a news reel theatre to engage communities with some of today’s most pressing issues and there will be plenty of opportunities to celebrate the North East’s passion for film, from all-night movie marathons to special screenings of cinema classics. 

They begin in February with their annual screening of The North East’s Favourite Romantic Film: When Harry Met Sally, which was selected by members of the public as part of a vote that the Cinema ran over January. The film will be screened on Valentine’s Day and will be preceded by ‘Chance Encounters’, a season of bittersweet romances , including Lost In Translation and Brief Encounter, running from Friday 10 – Monday 13 February. Find out more at www.tynesidecinema.co.uk/chance-encounters.

This will be followed in April by the start of a programme that sees Tyneside Cinema select eight of the world’s most influential directors, whose films have had a major impact on cinema over the past 80 years. Titled ‘The Luminaries’, the programme will contain retrospectives of a director’s work plus introductions, Q&As and events, with one director highlighted each month.

Tyneside Cinema will be asking their audiences to vote for their favourite films from the last 80 years. The vote will run from May to the start of August, with the final programme announced on 11 August 2017 and screened as part of a gala weekend over the August Bank Holiday (26-28 August 2017).

There will also be special 80th Anniversary editions of audience favourites throughout the year, including summer screenings of classic blockbusters Jaws and Dirty Dancing, a vote for the North East’s Favourite Scary Movie and a Cult Classic All-Nighter in October, and their hugely popular annual festive screenings of Christmas favourite It’s A Wonderful Life throughout December.

Finally, throughout their 80th year, Tyneside Cinema will be presenting curated programmes of films, art and events that invite North East audiences to reflect on major societal issues facing us today. The first, ‘Gimme Shelter: Climate Change, Migration and the Refugee Crisis’, will focus on the urgency of action on climate change, and explore the connection this has on the current immigration crisis.

Tyneside Cinema’s Chief Executive, Thomas Peutz said:

“This is a landmark achievement and it’s a great chance to celebrate Tyneside Cinema’s evolution from a grand news theatre in the 1930s, to the cultural institution and social destination we know and love today. Our programme presents an opportunity for audiences both old and new to discover more about the cinema’s heritage and the history of film, as well as to share their memories of the cinema from the past eighty years. It is also presents us with a chance to look at the power of film and its importance in helping us understand the times we are living through and to look to the future.”

Tyneside Cinema opened as the 'Newcastle News Theatre' on 1st February 1937.  It was originally built as Newcastle’s News Theatre by Dixon Scott, great uncle of Sir Ridley Scott (director of Alien, Blade Runner and Gladiator) and the late Tony Scott (director of Top Gun, Days Of Thunder and True Romance). The showing of continuous newsreels in cinemas called news theatres was a craze that swept the UK in the early 1930s. Dixon Scott, a local film entrepreneur, spotted this opportunity and built the city’s first News Theatre here as a result.

Today it’s the only purpose-built newsreel theatre in the UK still operating as a cinema. As well as screening films from around the world, from current releases to classic reissues, running three bar/cafés, film academies, workshops and education programmes, and a film art programme, it is also a heritage attraction, featuring many of the original art deco features from the 1930s as well as a permanent exhibition which brings the building’s past and newsreel history to life.

Visitors can find out more about the Cinema’s history by taking one of their free guided tours which run every Monday, Tuesday, Friday & Saturday at 11:00. They also screen free archive newsreels every morning at 11:15 which can also be seen as part of the guided tour.

To book a free guided tour of the cinema call 0191 227 5500 or get your ticket at Box Office on the day.

More information about the Tyneside Cinema’s 80th Anniversary programme and celebrations will be announced soon at www.tynesidecinema.co.uk.