Each film in this series is a condensed experience of a feature film, a single 360-degree time lapsed shot in an empty cinema where the sound becomes a cacophony of past projections and the aural experience is closer to that of the projectionist than the audience.
‘The Cinema Series’ comprises a series of single shot films made in independent cinemas across Great Britain. As the shift from 35mm to digital projection systems took place, the status of these cinemas were becoming fragile. I was interested in creating a record of this changing relationship between film and cinema architecture and in some way capturing the essence of the traditional cinema-going experience, where the atmosphere created by the cinema itself plays a part in the audience’s experience of the film.
The films are shot in the same way, using a single 360-degree time-lapsed shot from the centre of the cinema where a feature film is projected without an audience. The soundtrack of each film, recorded in the projection booth, is likewise compressed into a shortened duration. Each film is a distilled cinematic experience; the sound becomes a cacophony of past projections.
This work is a continuation of my exploration of the complex meanings of ‘place’. I’m fascinated by what the camera, using light to animate space, focusing on the specificities of place, can reveal of histories, meanings and cultural narratives.
To date, the films have been shot in The Futurist, Scarborough, a 2000 seat cinema threatened with closure, The Woolton Picture House, the oldest working cinema in Liverpool, and The Plaza, Stockport, a restored 1930s Art Deco cinema, complete with working Wurlitzer organ. Each of these cinemas has its own distinctive character, the essence of which is captured in the films. These films are an homage to 35mm film and the cinema experience.