The 2015 Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema will run from Wednesday 18 to Sunday 22 March, celebrating its fifth birthday with three World Premiere Festival Commissions, a pop-up cinema at Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway and the chance to discover forgotten stars Colleen Moore and Eric Campbell.
The festival takes place at the stunning art deco Bo’ness Hippodrome, Scotland’s first purpose built picture palace commissioned by local showman/filmmaker Louis Dickson, designed by local architect Matthew Steele and opened over 100 years ago on 11 March 1912.
Here, two local residents recall their cinemagoing days at a time when the Hippodrome was first a vibrant part of the community:
Festival highlights include the return of silent film accompanist Neil Brand alongside the Dodge Brothers (featuring Mark Kermode) at a sold out screening of silent Western Hell’s Hinges, a chance to see Kevin MacDonald’s Chaplin’s Goliath: In Search of Scotland’s Forgotten Star, which looks at the career of Charlie Chaplin’s on-screen nemesis, Eric Campbell, and a programme of rarely-seen World War 1 documentary shorts.
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Elsewhere, Scotland’s only Film Explainer, Andy Cannon will breath new life into extracts of John Barrymore’s famed version of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. This new commission will be complemented by a series of immersive, inter-generational sessions staged at community venues across the Falkirk Council district.
Those wanting to do more than take their seats in the cinema can wrap up warm for Mind The Gap on Saturday 21 March, a night of railway-themed pop-up cinema on the station of the historic Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway or dust off their most glamorous and dapper outfits and head along to the Festival’s first-ever HippFest Speakeasy at Bo’ness Town Hall.