Earlier this month, appropriately on Friday the 13th, Sale Cinemas presented a horror ‘Double Feature’ of Psycho and Death Becomes Her for the ominous occasion. Now, this may come as a surprise but I’ve never watched a classic film inside a commercial cinema, so being within only an hour’s vicinity, I couldn’t resist the opportunity. First things first, my girlfriend and I got our weekly fill of pizza and pasta at La Porchetta, conveniently located just up the road from our destination. Upon entering the modest country cinema, we were met by projectionist Matthew Clark who was kind enough to show us the technical ins and outs of digital film projection. To say it was an educational experience would be an understatement and certainly expelled the naive notion I had of a single file stored on portable drive. The reality is far more complex and sophisticated and with encryption that rivals major banks, so any courier with aspirations of scoring big on the black market would be in for a surprise.
At approximately 7pm, Bernard Herrmann’s famous opening theme kicked off the night. With it came the kind of familiarity that never tires or feels stale, in fact quite the opposite, further enhanced by the theatre setting. Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho on the big screen was the experience I hoped it would be. From that shot of Anthony Perkin’s leering eye to Arbogast helpless falling backwards to his doom, it often felt like I was seeing the film again for the first time, with all the intrigue and mystery it offered during my first viewing on TV as an early teen. Fresh popcorn and lemonade signified a twenty-minute interval before the second feature. Robert Zemeckis’ Death Becomes Her is to quote the poster’s tagline “Your basic black comedy”, about two women who refuse to age gracefully, both emotionally and physically I might add. While it was a lot of fun to revisited the zany horror/comedy, which I think houses Bruce Willis’s best performance, I was happy to know that my girlfriend who had never seen it before was thoroughly entertained.
Sale Cinemas shows it age in a number of areas, mainly the now retro interiors, but there’s a charm within its walls that I found comforting and even a bit nostalgic. Hopefully I can return again soon for another double-bill, which I think people will definitely respond to over time.