Link-up to Los Angeles to mark David Lean’s 25th anniversary

The David Lean Cinema, Croydon’s much-loved arts cinema, opened in the Clocktower on March 3, 1995, and a special screening next Tuesday will help celebrate the 25th anniversary.

Heavenly Creatures, starring Kate Winslet, was the first film to be screened at the David Lean Cinema

Heavenly Creatures, a psychological thriller from Peter Jackson, was the cinema’s first screening, which featured Kate Winslet in her first starring role. Director Jackson, of course, went on to make the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

It was a remarkable day in the town’s cultural history, with “Cock and Bull Stories” – an exhibition examining Picasso’s representation of animals – also opening in the Clocktower, which Time Out soon named “The jewel in Croydon’s crown.”

Now Croydon Council and the David Lean Cinema Campaign, which presents most of the screenings there, are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the opening with another absorbing film to be screened next Tuesday, March 3.

Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché is a fascinating documentary that reveals the life and work of the groundbreaking first female director, screenwriter, producer and studio owner.

Alice Guy-Blaché (behind tripod) filming in 1906

From 1896 to 1920, Guy-Blaché directed 400 films in France and the United States.

The special anniversary evening will start with complimentary drinks, courtesy of the council, and will conclude with a Q&A session (via Skype, live and direct from Los Angeles) with Be Natural’s director Pamela Green, co-producer Cosima Littlewood and contributor Roland-François Lack.

Although council cuts resulted in the David Lean Cinema closing from April 2011 to March 2014, the last six years have seen it flourish due to the dedication of the Campaign’s Community Interest Company, and the support of its many loyal patrons and hard-working volunteers.

Philip Howard, the chair of the David Lean Cinema Campaign, said: “We’re delighted that the cinema has reached this milestone, and we plan to keep delivering a wide variety of films to the people of Croydon for years to come.”

To book tickets for Be Natural and the David Lean’s other screenings, visit the website by clicking here

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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
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