Films around Cheltenham from 2 October

The Roses

The Roses in Tewkesbury has Our Ladies, Respect and The Nest, none of which is new.

The Guildhall

The Guildhall has The Courier, Herself and Respect, none of which is new. On Friday (8/10) it has two screenings of a British documentary called After Shaun: A Suicide Awareness Film, directed by a man whose brother killed himself, as part of a day-long suicide prevention event, with assorted support groups in attendance. I am sceptical of ‘awareness’ days organised by charities and pressure groups at a time when acute Mental Health provision in Gloucestershire and elsewhere has been cut to the bone. Less leaflets and information stands: more doctors, nurses and hospital beds. Also, people ought to try being nicer to each other. It’s not rocket science.

The Sherborne

The Sherborne has Paw Patrol, Free Guy and Respect, so nothing new there. On Friday (8/10) at 18:30 there’s a screening of The Pebble and the Boy, which isn’t new either.

The Tivoli

The Tivoli, Cheltenham’s newest attraction, is at least clean and staffed by interested human beings. This week it has, of course, No Time To Die, the latest James Bond, starring Daniel Craig. If you care, it is on at 15:00, 16:00, 17:00, 18:00, 19:00, 20:00, 21:00 and 22:00. There’s a warning on the website that you have to arrive 15 minutes early if you want to order any of the venue’s food. The film is apparently 163 minutes long, which would seem to come under the heading of ‘cruel and unusual punishment’.

It also has The Many Saints of Newark, the uninteresting Sopranos prequel. According to an article in the New York Times, which I couldn’t read because it was behind a paywall, the youth of America have become obsessed with the original television series, which they recognise as a major work identifying the roots of many of the horrors of their sad, deluded country. There’s also Respect.

The Cineworlds

I actually wandered into Cineworld this week. There is, of course, nothing outside to tell you what films are on and you are rather at the mercy of the person standing by a kind of rostrum at the entrance to the cinemas. I wanted to know what was on the next day, but the piece of paper he had didn’t contain such difficult information. I had to go to the food and drink concessions and ask them to search the computer.

In the end I went to Gloucester to see Tesciowie, a Polish comedy about a wedding reception that went wrong, descending into drunken violence. I thought it went on a bit long and was a bit wearing. My Polish companion assured me that in both those respects it was very realistic, although she didn’t like the music, which consisted of European pop hits rather than more traditional Polish wedding music, which to these ears sounds like ‘The Birdie Song’.

Stephen Ilott, the Cheltenham Film Society film fanatic who helps with the site, tells me he has been to eight Cineworld screenings in the last fortnight (mostly during the daytime, but then Cheltenham is full of retired people and others with not much to do) and not one of them has had more than eight people in attendance. Small World at Gloucester and The Alpinist in Cheltenham attracted precisely two customers.

Any normal business might, at this point be thinking about its pricing and its appeal to customers, but that doesn’t seem to be happening. Perhaps James Bond will come to the rescue.

Both Cineworlds have the James Bond film all week all day at all manner of ludicrous prices. Everything else is old.

Two well-located multiplex cinemas. In need of care and attention. Little used in recent years. Make them an offer.

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