Open Air Cinema Festival: Salty air, stars and cinema
REVIEW: ALFRESCO CINEMA DOESN’T GET MUCH BETTER THAN THIS. SUZANNE HOWELL SITS BACK UNDER THE STARS TO WATCH A FILM FAVOURITE.
It’s a warm summer evening when we venture to Torre Abbey to check out the outdoor cinema. Over four days, situated within the Abbey’s stunning gardens, was a film screening to suit everyone: Lion King, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Jaws, La La Land and Wonder Woman.
I’d never been to an alfresco film night before so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. After what seemed like a hundred text messages to sort out who was taking what, we arrived with chairs, piles of blankets, and enough snacks to feed everyone.
The setting was pretty spectacular. I’ve seen the gardens during the day, but at night they take on a whole new ambience; colourful blooms reflecting the fading light. I could go on but that’s not the reason we’re here: it’s the massive screen staged on a grassy area, surrounded by the Abbey ruins, that will entertain us for the next two hours.
We get comfy, grab a few drinks at the well stocked bar (mojitos nonetheless) and sit back waiting for the sun to set and the screen to come alive with the award winning La La Land.
A special sort of silence envelops us as the film gets going. The odd bird and cricket singing along to the dialogue, the odd rustle of someone opening their crockpot to finish off their spaghetti (okay, so our pre-packed snacks were put to shame!).
The film was great but better than that was realising if you looked up, beyond the screen became hundreds of stars. Now, that was cool. As the film ended, we were all cosy in our blankets with a comfortable chill on our cheeks. Afterwards, my friend’s husband asked her: “so, was it like being at the cinema?”. “No”, she replied, “it was much more special than that”. I couldn’t agree more.
Whilst the summer Open Air Cinema Festival at Torre Abbey (in partnership with the Barn Cinema) has finished, you can experience cinema under the stars once again at the International Agatha Christie Festival with showings in September of Murder On The Orient Express and Death On The Nile