Welcome to the new season at the Hippodrome

Download the season brochure (PDF, 3MB).

As we go to press with this exciting new programme for the March – May season at the Hippodrome we note that our audience numbers have already surpassed those of this time last year.

I'm sure that to some degree we can thank a few notable block-busting releases for this pleasing state of affairs (the 'Les Misérables' effect!) but it's good to see that some of the less well known but excellent movies in the programme, have been well attended too.

After all the excitement of the BAFTAs and the Oscars, this season finds more room for some of the smaller independent releases – some by first-time directors or starring acting newcomers, others UK or European releases that have attracted awards or audience attention but lack the big marketing budgets of starrier projects. If you can, I urge you to pencil a date in your diaries for these wonderful films… titles like 'Amour' – described by critics as "incomparably beautiful", 'I Wish' – widely given 5-stars and inspiring the comment: "simply put, it's hard to remember a better film about pre-teen life", and 'The Hunt' – which explores trust, love, responsibility, and ultimately has the power and impact of the very greatest works of art.

Beyond the film screenings, our evaluation also indicates that the range of Hippodrome 100 centenary initiatives during 2012 have had the desired impact: the profile of the venue and the town continues to rise and more visitors than ever are coming along, bringing a friend or family member, and returning again and again.

The final centenary initiative has been the Public Art Legacy Project, for which over 150 primary school children in Bo'ness worked with artist Susheila Jamieson to create works inspired by the Hippodrome. The results of their hard work are currently on display in the Bo'ness Library (until 19th March) and this excellent show is well worth visiting.

Like the Hippodrome itself, our Festival of Silent Cinema, now in its third year, has found a special place in the hearts of our audiences. They use words like "warm and welcoming", "delightful", "brilliant" and "amazing" to describe the atmosphere, the programming, the building and the staff. If you have been part of the Festival in our first two years you'll know to expect an intriguing and varied selection of films, the finest musicians performing superb film scores and improvisations, and a pervading air of excitement and discovery. Each event in the extended five day programme has been carefully chosen and developed to inspire you with the thrill and joy of silent cinema. You'll find an outline of the programme in the season brochure but you can see the full details at hippfest.co.uk.

Do join us for this very special event in the Hippodrome calendar, whether an old friend of the festival or a new visitor, about to be captivated by the magic of silent cinema for the first time.

Later in the season there will be lots of buzz in Bo'ness for the Victorian Street Fair on Sunday 26th May. To join in the celebrations the Hippodrome will host a 'doors open' afternoon from 12noon to 2pm during which anyone is free to pop in and have a look round the auditorium. We'll be screening a selection of early films made before the turn of the last century and the Hippodrome café will be open serving hot and cold drinks and snacks. And after all the Victoriana you can slide in to the 1920s and settle down for the 2.30pm or 7.30pm screening of glitzy glamorous new film directed by Baz Luhrmann: 'The Great Gatsby'.

We've got some terrific music, ballet and theatre shows lined up for our live and 'encore' screenings programme. If dance is your thing you could follow-up an evening marvelling at the principles of the Bolshoi Ballet on 7th March, with the breath-taking documentary 'First Position' (11th – 13th May) about the ballet stars of tomorrow. And of course there's much, much more…See you soon.

View our cinema listings.

Alison Strauss, Arts Development Officer (Film and Media)

Published on Tuesday, 5th March 2013

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