Film Society returns to big screen in Delph

THE big screen is back in Delph as Saddleworth Film Society re-launches after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Only a handful of films have been shown since 2019 when the Millgate Arts Centre based Society’s programme was halted.

Now they welcome members old and new to come along to enjoy their latest showings.

Established in 1978, the organisation has always been committed to bringing a diverse range of contemporary arthouse and international films to the people of Saddleworth.

Frustrated by the fact there was nowhere locally to see foreign films, a group of friends decided to do something about it.

After a meeting in The Swan Inn Dobcross with the British Federation of Film Societies, the organisation was supported in getting equipment and guaranteed against losses in the first year.

The first season opened with ‘Lenny’ on October 2, 1978 and included ‘Cabaret’ and ‘Bugsy Malone’ as well as films from Italy, France and Germany.

In the early years, the Society always tried to put on a quality short as well as a main film and food appropriate to the film, or at least its country of origin, at the interval.

Initially quite an undertaking, volunteers picked up the film reel boxes from Delph Post Office. Before each film night they had to fit the temporary wooden kiosk for the projector over some rear seats in the theatre, construct the big metal frame for the screen and then lace the screen to the frame. Now the operation is much slicker, thanks to modern technology and Millgate Arts Centre’s refurbishment.

Nonetheless the membership-based organisation has always been run by local volunteers and continues to thrive due to their commitment, but they are always looking for others to get involved.

Recently the organisation has taken steps to modernise, creating a Facebook page, email and the ability to purchase membership online.

Committee member Freya Barrass said: “The Film Society has and always will be focused on bringing amazing and diverse films to Saddleworth. However, it’s important we move with the times to ensure we remain sustainable and reach as many interested people as possible.”

The first film of the 2022/23 season will be Almodóvar’s Parallel Mothers starring Penelope Cruz on September 12.

This 2021 Spanish language drama received two Oscar nominations and currently has a 96 per cent score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Screenings are always on a Monday, usually starting at 8pm (or 7.30pm for longer films) in the Millgate Arts Centre.

Full membership and access to all 10 screenings (once a month from September to June) is £50 with guest tickets costing £6, available on the day of performance depending on availability. TO SUBSCRIBE

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For more details check out the Facebook page or local libraries and post offices for a printed copy of the programme.

If you have any questions or queries email or contact the society through their Facebook page Saddleworth Film Society.

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