The 2014 Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema, which came to a close on Sunday 16th March, was our most successful yet.
The five day Festival - which takes place at Scotland’s oldest purpose-built cinema, the beautiful Bo’ness Hippodrome - saw over 2,500 attendances at screenings, workshops and community events. These figures include a record breaking 1,751 tickets sold for the 14 ticketed events, 8 of which were total sell-outs. The Festival offered a packed programme of big screen classics and forgotten gems, with live soundtracks from some of the world’s leading accompanists, including Neil Brand, Stephen Horne and The Dodge Brothers.
Alison Strauss, Director of the Festival and programmer of the Hippodrome year-round said: “The line up for our fourth year has been superlative in terms of the quality of the musicians performing and the range of films we were able to source for the programme, and the audiences have responded with such warmth and enthusiasm. We have been gathering feedback throughout the five days and continue to do so on-line but already we are getting a sense of the incredible wave of positivity from everyone attending.”
The Festival, which is organised by Falkirk Community Trust with key funding from Falkirk Council and Creative Scotland, saw audiences travel from as far afield as London to experience its unique programme and setting.
Ian Scott, Chair of Falkirk Community Trust, said: “We are delighted that this year’s Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema has been the most popular yet, breaking Box Office records and allowing the local community and visitors from across the country to experience the Bo’ness Hippodrome at its very best. As well as the numerous sell-out ticketed events, the Festival also saw free workshops at Youth Clubs, exhibition and drop ins at the Bo’ness Library, Heritage Walks and tours at Kinneil House which engaged the whole local area in the magic of silent cinema.”
Councillor Adrian Mahoney, Falkirk Council's spokesman for culture, leisure and tourism, said: "I'd like to congratulate everyone involved in this year's Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema. The event brought amazing musicians and speakers to the area and created a real buzz around Bo'ness.
"Local shops got behind the festival, dressing their windows and tweeting support on social media. Some businesses also opened at additional times to welcome festival guests. I hope everyone who attended, and enjoyed the Festival, will come back to the Hippodrome soon - and won't stay silent about this wonderful little cinema and all it offers."
The annual Window Display competition attracted entries from businesses all across Bo’ness and was won by florist Daizy Rascal, with honourable mentions for The Ivy Tearoom and Absolutely Sweet cake shop. Anyone who missed Jane Gardner’s specially-commissioned soundtrack to Japanese gangster noir Dragnet Girl (which received its world premiere at the Festival) will have a chance to see it as it tours across cinemas in Scotland in Spring / Summer 2014, supported by Film Hub Scotland, part of BFI’s Film Audience Network.
Plans are already underway for the fifth annual Festival, which will take place in March 2015. Dates will be announced in the Autumn.