Extra Comment: Flickers of interest in cinema bid

The former Waverley cinema on Moss-side Road (now Tusk) could be firing up the projectors once again.
The former Waverley cinema on Moss-side Road (now Tusk) could be firing up the projectors once again.

DELIGHTS of the silver screen have featured heavily in The Extra recently.

The Glasgow Film Festival, for one, finishes up this weekend after a week and a half of premières, parties and special guests.

I’m happy to say I made it along last weekend and have more movies lined up – although those of you who read this week’s Cinema will have noticed that not all my film choices were golden tickets.

Speaking of golden tickets, there is one event still to come which is guaranteed to blow the socks off many a film fan, as the closing gala features the première of cult director Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing – and the man himself will be in attendance.

Tickets for it sold out faster than you can say Avengers, and a glance through Gumtree proves there are plenty of people willing to pay through the odds for a glimpse of Mr Whedon (this reporter included — but sadly, continuing down this topic is likely to inspire a rant about overpriced ticket touts).

Whedon-mania aside, there have been more than a few gems in the festival line-up (more reviews to follow in the coming weeks) – and, if you can stomach the odd pretentious remark in the GFT bar between flicks (black polo neck and beret optional), the annual event makes for an enjoyable day out.

Still, it’s not just the city centre which holds a monopoly on the world of film.

Here in the southside, we have an annual film festival of our own – a community event growing in popularity year on year, and always finding inventive spaces for screenings.

But, I hear you ask, what if we had our very own cinema – a hark back to the good old days of grand picture houses?

Well, it’s possible that salty popcorn scent will be wafting through Shawlands soon...

Last week’s front page story — on the possibility of the G1 Group using venue Tusk as a cinema — prompted a wealth of responses, the vast majority of which were all in favour.

The proposal may be in its infancy (and it has been on the table since 2008), but let us allow ourselves to dream: of civilised glasses of wine to accompany small, independent films, of toddler-tailored screenings for tired mums as much as for babies, and (perhaps most of all) of comfortable, sink-in seats.

You don’t have to look far to imagine what a Shawlands cinema would look and feel like: G1 already owns the westend’s Grosvenor Cinema – a temple to all things film, with its cosy armchair seats and – gasp – adjacent bar propping up a decent rota of flicks.

It’s always nice to be trusted with a drink — and, since the floors, walls and ceilings of the Grosvenor remain intact, it seems fair to say that your average cinema-goer will live up to that trust.

The announcement of a new multiplex for Silverburn has prompted some of you – and, it’s possible to surmise, G1 as well – to question the viability of a high street cinema. But why can’t we have both?

The Grosvenor survives (thrives even) despite close proximity to the city centre’s Cineworld, because movie-goers will seek out a good cinematic experience as much as they will IMAX screens and 3D films.

Better still, a small, community cinema would bring people in to Shawlands – and, at a time when residents are crying out for improvement, what could be better than a cultural hub alongside the pubs and clubs?

So, as a film fan, my fingers are crossed for a Shawlands cinema (black polo neck optional there too – although no southsider worth their salt will stand for a beret blocking their view).