Tyneside Cinema documentary gets lockdown digital premiere

Its doors remain closed thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 nightmare, but the online release of a special film this weekend will remind us of the Tyneside Cinema‘s rich history and everlasting charms.

Newcastle's beloved Tyneside Cinema is the city's independent cinema

Newcastle’s beloved Tyneside Cinema

Right then. Who’s missing the magic of a night at the flicks? You can put your hands down… and then make a note which should read something like: “Treat-time, 7pm, May 17th, Tyneside Cinema, via YouTube”.

The digital premiere of Alex Ayre’s debut feature, The Dream Palace, which explores the unique history of Newcastle’s much-loved independent cinema, will take place tomorrow evening, and it’s a must for those who love to see their movies on the big screen.

The Tyneside Cinema in 1950s Newcastle

The Tyneside Cinema in 1950s Newcastle

With most of the world’s cinemas currently closed because of the devastating coronavirus pandemic, this feature-length documentary – made to help celebrate the 80th anniversary of The Tyneside in 2017 – serves as a beautiful reminder of the joy of coming together for silver screen loveliness.

The Dream Palace was first unveiled in 2018, but will be the first time it’ll be made available online.

And the Sunday night livestream debut will be made more special thanks to a post-screening Q&A with award-winning actress, producer and Tyneside Cinema patron, Andrea Riseborough, who features in the film alongside filmmakers including Ken Loach (I, Daniel Blake, Kes), Mark Cousins (The Eyes of Orson Welles, The Story of Film) and Sir Ridley Scott (Blade Runner, The Martian), whose great uncle opened the cinema in 1937.

Best known for her roles in Birdman, Oblivion, Mandy and W.E., Newcastle-born Andrea will be talking to The Tyneside’s Director of Film Programme, Andrew Simpson and Director of Film at the British Council (also former Tyneside Cinema CEO) Briony Hanson via a virtual gathering from 8.20pm.

Tyneside Cinema patron, Andrea Riseborough will take part in a live Q&A

Tyneside Cinema patron, Andrea Riseborough will take part in a live Q&A

Both the film and the Q&A will be streamed on the Cinema’s YouTube channel.

As well as delving into the backstory of one of the UK’s most treasured independent picture houses and the last surviving Newsreel Theatre which still operates as a cinema, The Dream Palace also examines the broader question of what going to the cinema means to people all over the world.

Following the premiere, audiences will be able to watch the film until May 24, 2020.

Chief executive of The Tyneside, Holli Keeble, said: “I’m very proud to be able to share this moving and timely documentary with audiences in Newcastle and across the globe.

“The film documents the unique 80-year history of Newcastle’s Tyneside Cinema and the role in which it plays in the community, but also tells a much bigger story about the significance of cinemas and cinema-going that many people will relate to.

“Celebrating this collective heritage – one that we’re eager to return to – is particularly pertinent during the current pandemic.”

The release of The Dream Palace is part of a wider programme of engaging activity offering those who know and love the Tyneside Cinema the chance to remain connected to it during the UK’s coronavirus lockdown.

Weekly homemade movie making competition The Tynies which encourages people of all ages to get creative and try their hand at filmmaking; regular film recommendations and social media discussions; the gathering of Tyneside Cinema memories from members of the public; and an online version of the Cinema’s film quiz night are among the popular initiatives being rolled out while the doors remain closed.

A fundraising campaign – the #myTynesideCinema appeal has also been launched to provide the independent cinema with valuable support during this period. To find out more and make a donation, visit the dedicated page on the website.

The Dream Palace will stream live on the Tyneside Cinema’s YouTube channel for free from 7pm UK time on Sunday 17 May. The Q&A will begin immediately afterwards.

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