With summer holidays in full swing, families looking for an inexpensive treat can enjoy an exciting array of blockbusters at Buxton Cinema. Andrew Wakefield takes in a screening of Mamma Mia! Here we go Again which is showing until Thursday, August 16.
Lights down and the chatter subsides as we settle into our seats in the rather spacious and inviting surroundings of the fairly newly-launched Buxton Cinema for the opening night’s screening of the new Mamma Mia sequel.
It’s our first family trip to the 360 seater venue and we’re instantly wondering why we haven’t been to a showing here before now. After all it has been screening the latest blockbusters ever since opening its doors in December 2017.
On this Friday night there’s a buzz of anticipation that seems to be reverberating around the arts centre, it’s almost like the first night of a run at the opera house as the seats are near totally sold out.
This is a million miles from a mass produced multiplex with the sticky carpet and rotating hot dogs. It’s an altogether more upmarket experience - the arts centre underwent a £120,000 transformation with a new screen, sound system and projector being installed - without the upmarket price.
The bar has some real treats on offer for us too with cocktails, big buckets of popcorn and hot drinks, along with a range of sweet treats for the kids.
Inside the auditorium the seats are not crammed in and offer some breathing room. Being at the back of the balcony isn’t an issue either - even the most vertically-challenged among our pack of cinema-goers is appropriately steeply angled to avoid screen blockage.
As the film begins the fairly loose and easy nature of the Mamma Mia sequel lends itself to the venue and we’re soon humming along absorbed in the genius of Benny and Bjorn’s songsmithery. Personally despite being a huge lover of the more sophisticated musicals such as La La Land and The Greatest Showman this prequel/ sequel reboot is a breath of fluffy fresh air jammed full of snappy choreography and fun sing-alongs.
If you haven’t experienced a film within this new cinema yet I would certainly encourage you to sample the unique atmosphere generated by this wonderful old building.
Buxton has been with without a dedicated cinema since the closure of the Spa Cinema in the 1980s and it’s wonderful to see people finally enjoying the wonders of Hollywood in the town again.
The new Mamma Mia is showing until August 16. Other films include 25th anniversary scrennings of The Piano from August 17 - 23. Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures! on August 18 & 19 and Mission Impossible - Fallout from August 24 - 30.
For a full list of film times go to https://buxtonoperahouse.org.uk/cinema