So, the new Studio 74 cinema is set to open in autumn, what kind of space and capacity can we expect to see? We hear rumours of super comfy cinema seating. Tell us more…
The original idea was to go vintage with the interior, but with the building itself being fairly modern we reconsidered and have decided to fully embrace contemporary, while keeping it snug. And of course, as a cinema based in the South West’s foremost multi-arts venue, we’ll be adding some quirks along the way. Think gorgeous brand new cinema seating, geometric design, industrial meets comfort. As for capacity, it’s all in the name… the new cinema will seat a total of 74 indie film lovers for each screening – a real intimate environment.
Here in Exeter we already have an Odeon, Picturehouse, Vue and Campus Cinema. How are you planning on differentiating yourself?
Think of Studio 74 as a place of discovery, something quite different to the traditional cinema experience. Our programmers are passionate film-buffs who will be separating the wheat from the chaff, and hand-picking some real quality films that you may never have heard of before. So many brilliant films lose out on making it onto the big screen, because their marketing budgets and industry clout can’t compete with the latest Seth Rogen movie. You’d be amazed at what’s out there. What’s more, as part of Exeter Phoenix’s wider mix of events, we’ll also be able to offer some great festivals spanning music, art, film and performance.
How important is the exhibition of independent cinema?
Very, if you’re asking us. There’s a big place in our hearts for non-independent cinema. Popular film is popular for a reason. But, we want to get across the message that there is more to cinema than that, most people just don’t get the opportunity to see it on the big screen. It’s all about offering the South West that opportunity. Independent cinema exhibitors like Studio 74 aim to diversify what’s on offer.
What kind of opportunities can Studio 74 offer local film makers, in terms of both production and exhibition?
Exeter Phoenix already provides a lot of support for local filmmakers at all levels. Our equipment hire facilities and opportunities such as the 48 Hour film challenge are open to everyone, from beginners to more experienced filmmakers. The latter is great fun and offers the chance to have a go at making a short film which will be screened at our Two Short Nights film festival in November. Further up the scale, we offer commissions, support and advice to more established filmmakers in the SouthWest.
With the development of Studio 74, we can build on this and provide a platform to regularly exhibit feature-length and short films from local filmmakers, something which just isn’t available in the city at the moment.
With this new exciting space in one of the regions most popular multi-art form venues, what sort of events are set to be in the mix?
The great thing about basing a cinema within an arts venue like Exeter Phoenix, is that we have the whole venue’s expertise and facilities at our fingertips. A brand new launch festival called Crossing The Line kicks off in October, presenting an innovative season of films which cross either moral, ethical, sporting or geographical lines. Expect further adventures to underground locations and more atmospheric cinema experiences.
Then in January our brilliantly popular Scandinavian festival returns with films of Nordic origin set among live music, tantalizing foodie feasts and other immersive Scandi events.
What’s more, in terms of the regular film programme, you can expect some extra treats added onto our screenings. We might follow up a film about Paris’ underground electronic music scene with a gig from one of the featured musicians themselves, or offer a taster menu of Japanese speciality food in our cafe bar to go with a Tokyo horror flick. The possibilities for associated events and festivals are endless.
And lastly, as we are a student newspaper, how much for a small popcorn?
Caught out at the last hurdle! We’re still fine tuning some details like these, so we don’t have an answer for this one yet. You’ll have to come along and find out…
For more information, visit the Exeter Pheonix website.