David Lean’s favourite film returns in an old-style format

The Save the David Lean Cinema Campaign will celebrate the cinema’s link with Oscar-winning director Sir David Lean by presenting his 1955 film Summer Madness next week using the now rarely seen 35mm format.

Croydon-born film director David Lean: making a Croydon return in 35mm

Croydon-born film director David Lean: making a Croydon return in 35mm

Adrian Winchester, the campaign director, said: “35mm is an irreplaceable part of our cinematic heritage, but the David Lean Cinema is now Croydon’s only venue able to screen
it. Seeing the projectors running again – with a classic David Lean film – will be a very proud day for us.”

The digital revolution caused most cinemas to remove their 35mm projectors by late 2013, but as the David Lean acquired digital projection quite early, in 2006, it was essential to retain 35mm, as many films were not then available in digital form.

“Stephen Furley, our chief projectionist, is upgrading our 35mm capabilities to a high
standard, so we hope to show more 35mm prints in future,” Winchester said.

Summer Madness is set in Venice and stars Katharine Hepburn as an American tourist who finds romance following a chance meeting with an antiques dealer played by Rossano Brazzi. Lean described it as his favourite of all his films.

The film will be screened at the David Lean Cinema at 2.30 and 7.30pm on June 25.

The screenings are part of Croydon Heritage Festival, which this year has the theme of famous Croydon people and events. Lean is arguably among Croydon’s most famous sons and daughters.

David Lean grew up living in Blenheim Crescent, South Croydon, and as a boy his saw his first movies at a long-gone cinema on the corner of Surrey Street. His work in film saw him make classics such as Brief Encounter and Lawrence of Arabia. Summer Madness will be the first Lean film to be screened at the arthouse cinema named after him since it re-opened in 2014.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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