Mick Biggs talks to Claire Hunt, owner of The Village Green Events Co., about her plan to bring outdoor film screenings to Sheffield.
Hi Claire! So you’re going to be screening films on top of the Q-park on Castlegate?
Yeah. It’s going to be fun! We’ll be screening three films across three evenings in September: The Full Monty, Back to the Future and Dirty Dancing.
I’m really looking forward to getting my mitts on the rooftop and adding some quirky touches. I’ve brought in some beautiful vintage deckchairs and my sister was like “You have to have gnomes for The Full Monty screening. Maybe it can be a BYOG (Bring Your Own Gnome) night!”
Next, we’ll be popping up at Hathersage outdoor pool in early October showing a more aquatic array of films and offering inflatable pool seats for those who dare.
How do you think the experience of watching an outdoor film screening differs from going to see a film at the cinema?
I’m a big fan of the outdoors and think watching a film with the sky as your ceiling is pretty magical. I was a huge fan of the outdoor cinema scene in London, so when I moved to Sheffield, I leapt at the chance to do it here. There’s something exciting about watching a film in a place that’s not meant to be used as a cinema – it feels a bit naughty. And it’s a brilliant way to bring people together.
The social thing! Obviously Social Sheffield are huge fans of that. Do you think that’s a big part of its appeal?
Definitely! These days when people go to the cinema, they file in with a friend or two, watch the movie, then file out again. You don’t really feel it’s a social experience at all. It’s different with pop-up cinema. It’s almost like a sing-along or going to a private party. You feel this strong connection with people.
It’s a bit retro …
Yes! These three rooftop screenings will feel quite vintage… But my aim is for my Village Screen events to feel different in different locations. Q-Park will be rooftop cinema – under the stars with mismatching striped deckchairs, burgers and milkshakes – whilst Hathersage will feel like you’ve been washed up on a beach! It will be exciting to see people from all over Sheffield coming together to watch a classic film.
Hopefully we’ll see more pop-up film screenings in Sheffield. If anyone wants you to organise a screening in their community, what should they do?
Just get in touch for a cup of tea and a chat. I can set up our equipment just about anywhere and also help with gaining the appropriate licences and permissions. Feel free to email me at [email protected]
The Film Screenings
The Full Monty is showing on 17/9
Back to the Future is showing on 18/9
Dirty Dancing is showing on 19/9