Film - Classic Film Season at Cheltenham Playhouse


There’s a short season of classic films planned for this month at The Playhouse in Cheltenham...

We love our classic films here at The DreamCage so it’s very good to see regional theatres like The Playhouse giving their audiences the chance to view some old favourites as they were meant to be seen, on a cinema screen. Running from 16th to 20th May, most of the very famous films in this particular selection hit a milestone anniversary this year and Theatre Manager, Paul Scott explained why re-showing such classic films in a cinema environment is important.

“In most cases, we're dealing with very well known films, so it's not about telling people about something they don't know - it's about reminding them that they DO know what the film is, and why not come and see it on a big screen again (or in many cases, for the first time). Seeing something properly widescreen on a big screen is so different even to a large screen TV.”

If you think the advertising poster for Saturday Night Fever above is one you haven’t seen before, you’d be right, as a whole series of attention-grabbing new images have been designed for this classic film season by up and coming local artist Aimée Sullivan. When asked how this working partnership came about, Paul said, “Well, we have a generic poster that lists all the films screening that week but Aimée, as a very talented designer friend, offered to create individual posters for each film that were eye-catching, retro where necessary while not overloading the poster with "stuff".”

Explaining her inspiration for the posters, Aimée added “I've always loved minimalistic twists on well known books and films, which you see used often on new editions of books. I think the beautiful thing about what The Playhouse is doing with their film seasons, is that they are playing films you wouldn't otherwise have an opportunity to see on the big screen, so I really try to emulate the atmosphere and motifs of the film in my designs. Also, the wonderful additional events going on alongside the films, like the 1970s disco after Saturday Night Fever, makes it all the more of an experience. I really wanted to posters to capture the theme and feel of the films being shown, as well as getting word out there about the rare experiences and atmosphere this little theatre offers.”

Have a look at the posters and information for the whole classic film season.


Tuesday 16th May - The Graduate
Unbelievably it’s 50 years since The Graduate was first on the big screen. After graduating from college, Ben Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) returns to his wealthy parents' South Californian home unsure of what he wants to do next. He begins an aimless affair with the older Mrs Robinson (Anne Bancroft) while dating Mrs Robinson's daughter. Featuring a score performed by Simon and Garfunkel.



Wednesday 17th May - Close Encounters of the Third Kind

First seen in cinemas 40 years ago, Close Encounters is one of those films that simply has to be seen on a big screen with surround sound to get the full impact of Spielberg's vision. Roy Neary (Richard Dreyfuss) becomes obsessed with meeting extra-terrestrials after encountering a UFO on an abandoned road one night. Against the wishes of his wife, Neary travels to a mysterious mountain where the government has built a landing strip hoping to attract the aliens.



Thursday 18th May - The Untouchables

First released 30 years ago, The Untouchables remains a stylish depiction of corruption in Prohibition Chicago as Federal Agent Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner) sets out to remove gangster Al Capone (Robert De Niro) any way he can with the assistance of cop Jimmy Malone (an Oscar-winning Sean Connery). With a stunning score by composer Ennio Morricone.



Friday 19th May - Singin' in the Rain

Set in 1927, although the film was actually released 65 years ago in 1952, and Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) has worked his way up from being a song-and-dance man to become a top movie star. His on-screen partner believes that Don loves her for real but needs to have her awful voice dubbed with the arrival of talkies. Enter 'serious' actress Kathy Selden…



Saturday 20th May - Gone With the Wind

Not celebrating a milestone anniversary but certainly an epic, (as in 4 hours long so “bring a cushion”) multi-Oscar winning romantic drama based on Margaret Mitchell's Pulitzer-winning novel set during the American Civil War. Southern belle Scarlett O'Hara (Vivien Leigh) often uses men to get what she wants, but is unable to get the one man she truly desires. She soon meets her match in the roguish Captain Rhett Butler (Clark Gable).



Sunday 21st May - Saturday Night Fever

The original 18 rated cut [See our review of the original film HERE] sees Tony Manero (John Travolta) living for Saturday nights at the local disco. But at home Tony fights constantly with his father and he gets no satisfaction at his dead-end job. Things begin to change when he spies Stephanie in the disco and starts training with her for the club's dance competition. With a hugely successful score by The Bee Gees, this classic drama which made a star of Travolta, marks its 40th anniversary in 2017.

Find out more about all the films and book tickets (which are a bargain at only £7 each) on the Cheltenham Playhouse website.

Images courtesy of Aimée Sullivan and Cheltenham Playhouse